You know what they say in the advertising business: There’s no such thing as bad publicity. However, Yahoo Inc. is now giving the known phrase a fair fight with its latest online-breach fiasco, continuously shaking the world of online information security since Wednesday. With over a billion of its user accounts hacked, Yahoo now has to decide what to do in the face of this recent catastrophic discovery. It is no secret that the once successful multinational technology company has been declining for years now. Although in desperate need of a decent boost, one can be rather sure that the company would like to become the talk of the town in a more positive context.
For anyone who hasn’t been keeping up: Yahoo has exposed a historically-monumental hack that occurred in August 2013, estimated in more than a billion breached user accounts. The hack was noted as the largest breach in the history of the internet, and resulted in an enormous amount of stolen information such as passwords, phone numbers, and security questions. Unfortunately for the already-struggling company, this is not its first involvement in a security breach scandal. In September, Yahoo revealed another small hack, which reportedly occurred in 2014, and resulted in around 500 million breached accounts.
The automatic repercussions are clear: Yahoo’s reliability is at serious risk. One of the fingers is naturally pointed at its initially-promising CEO, Marissa Mayer, who was already in position while both hacks occurred. Mayer, who entered the role in 2012, made significant efforts to improve the company’s deteriorating state, and for a minute there, it appeared that she was actually successful. However, just as Yahoo’s digital assets were about to be sold to telecommunications giant, Verizon, the two hacks were revealed one after the other, jeopardizing the much-expected deal. As Yahoo’s shares experienced a drop of more than 6% following Wednesday’s revelation, Verizon is now demanding to amend the set price of $4.8 billion according to the company’s current economic status.
The price of the historic security breach is twofold: other than the damage to Yahoo’s reputation and financial status, a no less severe damage to the owners of the breached accounts and to the notion of online security in general has been done. In the light of personal information stolen from over a billion internet users, one can’t help but ponder whether the lightness in which we put our trust (and data) in different internet service providers is justified. The intimidating truth is, if we want to actively participate in 21st century reality, we have no choice but to take a leap of faith and hope that nothing goes wrong. As hackers will come and go, each and every one of us is left to deal with the concerning possibilities reflecting off Yahoo’s breach scandal.
Yahoo is one of the most popular sites in America and is traded on the NASDAQ. Founded in 1994, it is well known for its search engine, email services, news divisions, and advertising potential. Founded by Jerry Yang, and David Filo, the company’s headquarters are located in Sunnyvale, California.Trade YAHOO