On Wednesday, September 22, Yahoo issued a press release confirming a security breach that several news outlets had already speculated on prior to the release. In late 2014, hackers, allegedly state-sponsored, managed to steal user information associated with at least 500 million accounts, making this one of the largest, if not the largest data breach that we know of to date. Earlier reports had suggested that 200 million accounts had been affected by the attack but unfortunately this turned out to be too optimistic.
Data breaches like the one at Yahoo have become increasingly common over the past years and are often uncovered when the stolen data is offered for sale on the darknet. As our chart illustrates, many high-profile companies have been subject to hacker attacks recently and they probably won't be the last. Security experts strongly recommend not using the same password across several websites. Using different passwords significantly limits the potential damage an exposed password could entail.
This chart shows how many data records were compromised in selected hacking attacks.