Another hack attack has occurred, this time against Yahoo! Mail users. Yahoo Mail! is the second largest email service provider in the world with 273 million accounts of which 81 million are U.S. users. The company would not reveal how many accounts were affected but called the attack very sophisticated.
Yahoo issued the following statement regarding the attack; “The information sought in the attack seems to be names and email addresses from the affected accounts’ most recent sent emails.”
The data was not stolen from Yahoo directly but rather from a third-party database. Because of the widespread use of “cloud” technology, many companies use what are called co-location data centers. These are companies that house dedicated storage and servers for another company to reduce electricity and staffing costs. The danger of the Yahoo! data breach to the customer is that the information can be used to attack other email accounts. Once you get a person’s real name and email address, it becomes easier to send out spam email and view the activity of the user.
The company has informed users of its systems and is taking increased security precautions. In the meantime all Yahoo! Mail users should change their email passwords for not only Yahoo! but also the email account used to sign up for the service.