Bloomberg reported that a group of notorious Russian hackers associated with the Federal Security Service (FSB), broke into Yahoo’s User Database and stole personal details of more than 500 million people. The 2014 hack, together with a second earlier attack that leaked even more information, is believed to be one of biggest security breaches in history.
Towards the end of 2014, based on the indictment report, the attackers compromised Yahoo’s sensitive data by duplicating and exporting its main database.
Consequently, the hackers used the compromised information to spy on the activities of certain high-profile individuals, such as journalists, workers of a bitcoin financial institution in Switzerland, a high-ranking director of a renowned airline in the United States, workers of a cybersecurity firm in Russia, and the chief technology officer of a transportation firm in France. It’s believed FSB assisted the cybercriminals to identify the high-profile accounts.
Additionally, the indictment exposed the attackers utilized Yahoo severs to fulfill financial gains. For example, they influenced search results for erectile dysfunction keywords to increase the website traffic of a certain online-based pharmacy.
The Russian hack has muddled attempts by Verizon Communications to acquire Yahoo for $4.8 billion. Verizon intends to purchase Yahoo’s ailing businesses to establish a formidable presence in the mobile media industry.
This latest incidence has exuberated the cyber tensions between the U.S. and Russia. The U.S. has been accusing Russia of failing to cooperate to deal with cyber threats and declining to hand over hackers to U.S. authorities.
Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for the Russian government, when asked about the likelihood of cooperation on the Yahoo incident, informed Bloomberg the country can assist the U.S. tackle cyber attacks. The FSB failed to give a comment on the incident.