March 15, 2017 Russian Spy Yahoo Hack March 15, 2017, the FBI officially charged the 2014 breach to four men, including two that work for Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB). In its statement, the FBI said "The criminal conduct at issue, carried out and otherwise facilitated by officers from an FSB unit that serves as the FBI’s point of contact in Moscow on cybercrime matters, is beyond the pale." One of the hackers was arrested in Canada but there is little chance of getting the others extradited from Russia.
Yahoo! data breaches - Wikipedia
The Internet service company Yahoo! reported two major data breaches of user account data to hackers during the second half of 2016. The first announced breach, reported in September 2016, had occurred sometime in late 2014, and affected over 500 million Yahoo! user accounts. A separate data breach, occurring earlier around August 2013, was reported in December 2016, and affected over 1 billion user accounts. Both breaches are considered the largest discovered in the history of the Internet. Specific details of material taken include names, email addresses, telephone numbers, encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers, dates of birth, and encrypted passwords. Further, Yahoo! reported that the late 2014 breach likely used manufactured web cookies to falsify login credentials, allowing hackers to gain access to any account without a password.
Yahoo! has been criticized for their late disclosure of the breaches and their security measures, and is currently facing several lawsuits as well as investigation by members of the United States Congress. The breaches have impacted Verizon Communications's July 2016 plans to acquire Yahoo! for about $4.8 billion, which resulted in a drop of $350 million in the offered price by February 2017.
1.1July 2016 discovery
1.2Late 2014 breach
1.3August 2013 breach
Description · Attribution and motivation · Legal and commercial responses · See also
first reported data breach in 2016 had taken place sometime in late 2014, according to Yahoo! The hackers had obtained data from over 500 million user accounts, including account names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords, and in some cases, encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers. Security experts noted that the majority of Yahoo!'s passwords used the bcrypt hashing algorithm which is considered difficult to crack, the rest used the older MD5 algorithm which can be broken rather quickly. Such information, especially security questions and answers, could help hackers break into victims' other online accounts.
According to Yahoo, the 2014 breach was carried out by a "state-sponsored actor" and the organization claims that such "intrusions and thefts by state-sponsored actors have become increasingly common across the technology industry". While Yahoo did not name any country, some suspect China or Russia to be behind the hack.
U.S. intelligence officials, who declined to give their names to the media, highlighted similarities between the attack and previous breaches linked to the Russian government. Yahoo in fall 2014 detected what it believed was a small breach "involving 30 to 40 accounts", carried out by hackers believed to be "working on behalf of the Russian government" - according to Yahoo executives because it was launched from computers in that country. Yahoo reported the incident to the FBI in late 2014 and notified affected users.
Sean Sullivan, a security adviser at cyber security firm F-Secure Labs, declared China to be his top suspect and said that "there have been no past cases of a service provider like Yahoo being targeted [by Russia]," whose hackers tend to perpetrate targeted attacks, either in areas important for their economy, such as the energy sector, or to undermine politicians, while "China likes to vacuum up all kinds of information" and "has a voracious appetite for personal information". Examples of state-sponsored data breaches with China in suspicion include the massive data breach of 18 million people from the United States Office of Personnel Management and the attacks on Google in 2010, dubbed Operation Aurora.
Others expressed doubt about Yahoo's claim of the attack being state-sponsored, as it would be less embarrassing for Yahoo to attribute an attack to a nation state, which typically have the most sophisticated hacking capabilities, than to attribute it to a cybercriminal group or individual—particularly as Yahoo is in the middle of being acquired by Verizon. Senior research scientist Kenneth Geers from Comodo, however, noted that "Yahoo is a strategic player on the World Wide Web, which makes it a good—and valid—target for nation-state intelligence collection".
InfoArmor issued a report that challenged Yahoo's claim that a nation-state orchestrated the heist after reviewing a small sample of compromised accounts. InfoArmor had been able to obtain the list of affected accounts for analysis. InfoArmor determined that the breach was likely the work of an Eastern European criminal gang that later sold the entire hacked database to at least three clients, including one state-sponsored group. According to InfoArmor, by early 2015, the group no longer offered to sell the full database, but sought "to extract something from the dump for significant amounts of money." The report noted that it was difficult to determine who the ultimate mastermind of a hack might be, as criminal hackers sometimes provide information to government intelligence agencies or offer their services for hire. Komarov said the hackers may be related to Group E, who have had a track record of selling stolen personal data on the dark web primarily to underground spammers, and were previously linked to breaches at LinkedIn, Tumblr, and MySpace. InfoArmor had linked Group E as the source of the data that was offered by Peace, and believed that Group E was brokering the data to darkweb sellers. While InfoArmor did not believe a state-sponsored agency committed the breach, they warned of implications on foreign intelligences, as the breaches "opens the door to significant opportunities for cyber-espionage and targeted attacks," and may be the key in several targeted attacks against U.S. government personnel, which resulted after the disclosed contacts of the affected high-level officials of intelligence community in October 2015.
Yahoo! stated that the 2013 breach is connected "to the same state-sponsored actor believed to be responsible for the data theft the company disclosed on September 22, 2016." White House spokespersons stated that the FBI is currently investigating this breach, though the scope of its impact is unclear. A United States official, speaking to CBS News, says that government investigators agree with Yahoo! that the hack was sponsored by a foreign state, possibly Russia. Security experts speculate that because little of the data from this 2013 breach have been made available on the black market, the breach was likely targeted to find information on specific people.
On March 15, 2017, the FBI officially charged the 2014 breach to four men, including two that work for Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB). In its statement, the FBI said "The criminal conduct at issue, carried out and otherwise facilitated by officers from an FSB unit that serves as the FBI’s point of contact in Moscow on cybercrime matters, is beyond the pale."
Yahoo! - Wikipedia
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