Between the years 2013 and 2014, 3 billion of Yahoo’s accounts in Israel and the United States were compromised. Just this week Yahoo announced an $85 million settlement for what is considered the largest corporate data security breach in history. This settlement includes $50 million that would be dispersed among an estimate of 200 million victims of the cyber-attack. The remaining $35 million would pay for lawyer and document fees. Oath and Altaba, who jointly own Yahoo, have decided to split the costs 50/50.
As a result of an FBI investigation, the masterminds behind the hacking of 2014 are believed to be four different people, two of which were Russian spies. However, the data breach of 2013 still has no evidence of any specific third party. There are reports of the hackers selling this information on the “dark web” for $1,800 and are assumed to be used for fraud and even blackmail.
This cyber attack exposed user information such as social security numbers, addresses, birth dates, phone numbers, and passwords. Yahoo Premium users are subject up to a 25% refund and free credit-monitoring service for the next two years. Victims who apply will also be eligible for a compensation of $25/hour for up to $375. All users who apply and are accepted will be emailed more information regarding the settlement.
“We are pleased that we were able to reach a settlement with Yahoo, which would provide relief to impacted users and ensure that Yahoo improves its security practices going forward,” said plaintiffs attorney John Yanchunis of Morgan & Morgan in Tampa, Florida.