Yahoo fined £250,000 for hack that impacted 515,000 United Kingdom accounts

Yahoo was hit with the £250,000 fine
Credit
AP

Yahoo was hit with the £250,000 fine Credit AP

UK Services Ltd a £250,000 fine following an investigation that focused on the 515,121 UK accounts that the London-based branch of the firm had responsibility for.

Yahoo has been fined £250,000 over a hack from 2014 that affected more than 515,000 United Kingdom email accounts co-branded with Sky, the Information Commissioner's Office has announced.

The firm said "state-sponsored" hackers had stolen personal information, which included names, emails, unencrypted security questions and answers.

The incident was reported two years later.

The ICO said "systemic failures" had put user data at risk as the United Kingdom arm of Yahoo! did not take appropriate technical and organisational measures to prevent a data breach of this size.

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The ICO's deputy commissioner of operations, James Dipple-Johnstone, said: "People expect that organisations will keep their personal data safe from malicious intruders who seek to exploit it".

"Although the fine has been a long time coming, I imagine there would be some sighs of relief that the investigation was carried out under the Data Protection Act, rather than the GDPR which has much tougher consequences for a breach", he said.

The UK wing had "ample opportunity" to improve security and potentially prevent the breach, he said.

'However, organisations must take appropriate steps to protect the data of their customers from this threat'. Since then, the fines and court cases have kept rolling in as various regulators get in on the action.

Although the data breach took place in 2014, Yahoo kept the loss of around 500 million worldwide users quiet until 2016.

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Mr Dipple-Johnstone added: "Cyber attacks will happen, that's just a fact, and we fully accept that they are a criminal act".

But unprotected passwords, payment card data and bank account information did not appear to have been compromised, signaling that some of the most valuable user data was not taken.

In December 2016, it was learned that an even bigger breach took place in August 2013.

Yahoo, which has since been acquired by Verizon and merged with AOL to form a joint entity called Oath (which is also the parent of TechCrunch), is arguably getting off pretty lightly here for a breach that impacted a whopping ~500M users.

A year ago while under new ownership the company acknowledged that another data breach in 2013 affected all three billion of its users.

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