The Yahoo! Data Breach of 2013 may seem like old news, but 2017 revealed it was far worse than reported. After Verizon acquired Yahoo! in June 2017, they discovered the 2013 breach affected every Yahoo! customer account – three billion in total!
That mind-boggling number is three times more than Yahoo! reports when they first disclosed the breach in 2017. It’s almost 10 times greater that the whole US population.
How could that happen?
The hackers had free access to billions of email accounts for three years before they were discovered. More that 150,000 of the accounts were owned by current and former US government and military employees. They included the accounts of White House staff members, US Congress, and members of the FBA, NSA, and CIA.
Part of the problem is Business Email Compromise (BEC), a growing trend of organized cyber criminals. They get into your network, spend weeks or months studying your organization’s vendors, billing systems, and your CEO’s style of email communications. They can then send a fake email from your CEO (while he or she is away and unavailable) to someone in your finance office, requesting you send payment to someone your company would normally pay. This is a scam that works and the money is hard to track and recover.
How Your Business Could Avoid a Yahoo-type Breach
- Patch Vulnerabilities: This must be done in a timely manner. The more time your system spends vulnerable the easier it is for hackers to get what they want.
- Don’t trust email from an employee’s private account. Anytime someone in your company sends you an email from a private email account, be suspicious. Reply by phone or use the company email to ask if that email was from them.
- Use your company email for business. Make sure all company business that must be emailed is done via your company email account. That includes minor things like requesting a meeting or sending a file. Because data breaches are a huge and growing threat, it’s best to always keep your company email communications within the safety and security of your business email account.
- Get a real security partner to assess your vulnerabilities and catch issues before they blow up into expensive and damaging problems. Call mPowered IT at 678-389-6200 and ask for a FREE VULNERABILITY ASSESSMENT.