Internet search company Yahoo has reportedly been hacked, exposing nearly half a million of its users’ email addresses and passwords.
First to report on the incident was security firm Trusted Sec, who found that the plaintext credentials for more than 453,000 passwords and emails were posted online and apparently easily to obtain.
“The most alarming part to the entire story was the fact that the passwords were stored completely unencrypted and the full 400,000+ usernames and passwords are now public,” so reads Trusted Sec's company blog.
Those responsible for revealing the security fault, a hacking collective named D33Ds Company, appear to have done so in an act of warning, according to a comment accompanying the data file.
“We hope that the parties responsible for managing the security of this subdomain will take this as a wake-up call, and not as a threat. There have been many security holes exploited in webservers belonging to Yahoo! Inc. that have caused far greater damage than our disclosure. Please do not take them lightly. The subdomain and vulnerable parameters have not been posted to avoid further damage.”
Details are still unclear as to where the passwords have come from, Arts Technica claim that they originate from Yahoo Voice, the company’s service that pays freelance writers for content. Others say it is from Yahoo Voices (with s) which is Yahoo’s online coalling serive.
Even so the concern is that many users will use the same password for multiple serives within one provider.
Security firm Trusted Sec is calling for concerned users to check its file to ensure there data has not been exposed.
Only on Monday did Yahoo finally reach an agreement with Facebook that saw the two companies sign an advertising alliance in a move that finilised an embroiled back-and-forth patent row, keeping the fledgling internet search company in the press.
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