Yahoo email account passwords stolen

NEW YORK (AP) -- Yahoo said Thursday that usernames and passwords of its email customers have been stolen and used to access accounts, but the company isn't saying how many accounts have been affected.

Yahoo is the second-largest email service worldwide, after Google's Gmail, according to the research firm comScore. There are 273 million Yahoo mail accounts worldwide, including 81 million in the U.S.

Yahoo Inc. said in a blog post on its breach that "The information sought in the attack seems to be names and email addresses from the affected accounts' most recent sent emails."

That could mean hackers were looking for additional email addresses to send spam or scam messages. By grabbing real names from those sent folders, hackers could try to make bogus messages appear more legitimate to recipients.

The bigger danger: access to email accounts could lead to more serious breaches involving banking and shopping sites. That's because many sites use email to reset passwords. Hackers could try logging in to such a site with the Yahoo email address, for instance, and ask that a password reminder be sent by email.

The breach is the second problem for Yahoo's mail service in two months. In December, the service suffered a multi-day outage that prompted Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer issue an apology.

Yahoo said it believes the usernames and passwords weren't collected from its own systems, but from a third-party database. It's not clear why a third-party database would have information on Yahoo accounts.

Yahoo said it is resetting passwords on affected accounts and has "implemented additional measures" to block further attacks.

The company would not comment beyond the information in its blog post. It said it is working with federal law enforcement.

Print this article Back to Top

Comments

or Subscribe now so you can share your opinion! It’s only a penny for a month trial.

More Technology News
A look at texting while driving in SW Ohio
A look at texting while driving in SW Ohio

In the first six months of 2014, two out of every 1,000 accidents in Southwestern Ohio involved texting while driving.

PD: FB photo of shoplifted dress leads to arrest
PD: FB photo of shoplifted dress leads to arrest

Police said 27-year-old Danielle Saxton, of West Frankfort, shoplifted from a downtown boutique last week. Then, she posted pictures of…

Does social media fuel those with Munchausen?
Does social media fuel those with Munchausen?

Experts say the case of a mother accused of poisoning her 5-year-old son to death with salt appears be an example of how social media feeds…

Do obese women have 'food learning impairment'?
Do obese women have 'food learning impairment'?

Do obese women have a 'food learning impairment'? A new Yale University study suggests it's true.

Movie sparks disturbing online
Movie sparks disturbing online "purges"

Teens post risqué or obscene photos and malicious comments on social media in reaction to a film opening Friday.

Why Microsoft is eliminating thousands of jobs
Why Microsoft is eliminating thousands of jobs

Ahead of its second-quarter earnings call on Tuesday, Microsoft is in the headlines for something other than its financial comings and goings. 

Why is Montel Williams following me on Twitter?
Why is Montel Williams following me on Twitter?

According to some, Montel Williams, former talk show host and outspoken celebrity, has a curiously active Twitter account. 

Tech Q&A: Treat your iPhone like a camera
Tech Q&A: Treat your iPhone like a camera

Find out the best ways to move photos from a phone to a personal computer. 

What happens to your FB account when you die?
What happens to your FB account when you die?

When you die, should your loved ones have access to your Facebook, Gmail and other online accounts?

Got a rash? iPad, other devices may be cause
Got a rash? iPad, other devices may be cause

Unexplained rash? Check your iPad. It turns out the popular tablet computer may contain nickel, one of the most common allergy-inducing metals.