In light of the revelation on Wednesday that more than one billion accounts were hacked in 2013, Verizon may be pulling the plug on its $4.8 billion acquisition of Yahoo, reports Bloomberg.
This announcement came less than three months after the company admitted to a previous data breach that hit 500,000 accounts. That was the largest ever security breach, but it has been overwhelmingly overshadowed by this new revelation.
This breach saw data stolen that includes names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords and, in some cases, encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers.
According to the report, a Verizon group led by AOL CEO Tim Armstrong is still focused on integration planning to get Yahoo up and running, with another team reviewing the breach disclosures and the company’s options.
A statement from Verizon said: “As we’ve said all along, we will evaluate the situation as Yahoo continues its investigation. We will review the impact of this new development before reaching any final conclusions.”
In response to the hack, Gigya managing director Richard Lack said: “The outcome for Yahoo could be disastrous. A pending acquisition of the company by Verizon Communications could be at risk. The FBI is investigating. And some security experts are advising people to stop using services such as Yahoo Mail. The biggest loss for Yahoo, in my view, is trust.
“In the online world, customers need to share their identity – email addresses, personal preferences, credit card numbers, etc. - to connect with the businesses that provide them goods and services. If customers can’t rely on a business to protect that data, then trust is lost. In other words, identity is the currency of trust"