More than one billion Yahoo accounts were affected by a recently discovered data breach dating back to 2013. The incident, which Yahoo informed the public of on Wednesday, is likely distinct from the one the company had disclosed in September, meaning that Yahoo has fallen victim to the two largest (known) data breaches to date. The data stolen in the latest incident may involve names, email addresses, telephone numbers and encrypted passwords. Clear text passwords, credit card or bank account data have apparently not been compromised. However, affected users are urged to change their passwords and review their online accounts for suspicious activity.
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.