Dec 15, 2016 07:35 AM EST

1B Yahoo! User Accounts Hacked: Biggest Account Theft Ever; Crucial Data Compromised!

More than 1 billion Yahoo accounts comprising of phone numbers, birthdates, and security questions hacked. The theft happened during an attack that took place in August 2013 and was revealed by Yahoo on December 14.

The announcement of what represents the biggest and largest hack of all time is a separate incident than the one Yahoo disclosed back in September. In that case, Yahoo claimed that at least 500 million compromised user accounts. This recent news of account theft plummeted Yahoo shares by 2.5 percent in after-hours trading on December 14. This disclosure of the hack could have negative implications for the $4.8 billion sales of Yahoo to Verizon.

On the other hand, Verizon stated through Business Insider, that they would still evaluate the situation as Yahoo pushes through the investigation. On Yahoo's end, they said that up until now they were still not able to identify the type of intrusion associated with this anomaly.

Fictitious cookies

With a billion accounts compromised, this would make this the biggest hack of ever, much bigger than that of  Myspace with 427 million passwords, and 360 million user accounts. Yahoo said that bank account and payment-card data were not kept on the system the company considers was affected. However, hackers may have already collected a ton of other prized personal information, like user names, telephone numbers, email addresses, dates of birth, and hashed passwords.

Yahoo said that an unauthorized third party opened the firm's proprietary code to learn how to forge cookies. It was not clear which incident the forged cookies related to because there are more than one instances that the company's data has been hacked. However, Yahoo stated that the company has linked some of this activity to the same state-sponsored artist believed to be accountable for the data theft the company disclosed on September 22, 2016.

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