Why Yahoo’s latest hack doesn’t matter

Chris Burns - Dec 15, 2016, 12:14 pm CST
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Why Yahoo’s latest hack doesn’t matter

It’s my opinion that Yahoo’s biggest account breach ever does not matter in the grand scheme of things. Yahoo Mail users don’t seem to care – they’re still searching for “yahoo mail” about 10x as much as any other term according to today’s Google Trends. After the query Yahoo Mail, the most popular search term related to Yahoo is Yahoo Finance. This hack is not a big deal to Yahoo users, and I don’t expect that it will be any time soon.

A similar breach of account information was reported by Yahoo this September. That breach – shockingly – showed how 500 million accounts were compromised back in the year 2014. Here at the tail end of 2016, Yahoo reports a 1-billion account breach, amongst the most massive single-source data hack in the history of the world.

This announcement comes as Verizon is still in talks to acquire Yahoo. As such, rumors are swirling of a discount on the price of the company before the deal is made. While this might end up being true, don’t expect Verizon to cut out of the deal altogether. They aren’t buying Yahoo because of their security prowess.

Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam said in a statement back in July that their acquisition of Yahoo was largely because of the internet company’s mobile services. This includes sports, finance, and – now perhaps to a lesser degree – email. Acquiring Yahoo now would allow Verizon the opportunity to suggest that now, since they’re in charge, things will change.

Verizon certainly doesn’t want to have to deal with an account breach of this scale showing up on their watch. As such, if they do end up going through with an acquisition of Yahoo, it wouldn’t be surprising if they made some relatively public changes in management. Especially in departments responsible for data security.

If any SlashGear readers are still inclined to join Yahoo Mail or continue using their service after this week’s hack, please – consider an alternative. Either Yahoo is not capable of keeping their accounts secure, or they’re such a big target that they’re inevitably going to continue to get hacked. Maybe both are true – we shall see.


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