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Report: More than 1 billion accounts breached in Yahoo hack




Yahoo! Chief executive Marissa Mayer. Steve Jennings/Getty Images

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — The actual tally of stolen user accounts from the Yahoo hack could be over the originally reported 500 million, according to a report from Business Insiderwhich cites former Yahoo executive familiar with its security practices.

According to the report, the former Yahoo insider says the architecture of Yahoo’s back-end systems is organized in such a way that the type of breach that was reported would have exposed a much larger group of user account information.

“I believe it to be bigger than what’s being reported,” said the executive, who no longer works for the company. However, the insider claims to maintain relationships with currently employees. “How they came up with 500 is a mystery.”

Yahoo has said the breach affected at least 500 million users. But the former Yahoo exec estimated the number of accounts that could have potentially been stolen could be anywhere between 1 billion and 3 billion.

All of Yahoo’s products use the same user database to authenticate its users, the executive said. This is so people who log into products such as Yahoo Mail, Finance, or Sports all enter their usernames and passwords, which then goes to this one central place to ensure they are legitimate, allowing them access.

In late 2013, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer said the company had 800 million monthly active users globally. It currently has more than 1 billion.

“That is what got compromised,” the executive said. “The core crown jewels of Yahoo customer credentials.”

It remains unclear how the hackers actually exfiltrated the database, and Yahoo has not commented further on how the breach happened or when it was discovered, citing an active investigation. Though it is certainly plausible that a hacker group could access a database but not steal everything within, lending credence to Yahoo’s official number.

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