Yahoo issues another warning in fallout from hacking attacks

FILE - This Jan. 14, 2015 file photo shows Yahoo's headquarters in Sunnyvale, Calif. Yahoo is warning users of potentially malicious activity on their accounts between 2015 and 2016, the latest development in the internet company's investigation of a mega-breach that exposed 1 billion users' data several years ago. Yahoo confirmed Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017, that it was notifying users that their accounts had potentially been compromised but declined to say how many people were affected. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

LONDON — Yahoo is warning users of potentially malicious activity on their accounts between 2015 and 2016, the latest development in the internet company's investigation of a mega-breach that exposed 1 billion users' data several years ago.

Yahoo confirmed Wednesday that it was notifying users that their accounts had potentially been compromised but declined to say how many people were affected.

In a statement, Yahoo tied some of the potential compromises to what it has described as the "state-sponsored actor" responsible for the theft of private data from more than 1 billion user accounts in 2013 and 2014. The stolen data included email addresses, birth dates and answers to security questions.

The catastrophic breach raised questions about Yahoo's security and destabilized the company's deal to sell its email service, websites and mobile applications to Verizon Communications.

The malicious activity that was the subject of the user warnings revolved around the use of "forged cookies" — strings of data which are used across the web and can sometimes allow people to access online accounts without re-entering their passwords.

A warning message sent to Yahoo users Wednesday read: "Based on the ongoing investigation, we believe a forged cookie may have been used in 2015 or 2016 to access your account." Some users posted the ones they received to Twitter.

"Within six people in our lab group, at least one other person has gotten this email," Joshua Plotkin, a biology professor at the University of Pennsylvania, said. "That's just anecdotal of course, but for two people in a group of six to have gotten it, I imagine it's a considerable amount."

Plotkin said in a telephone interview that he wasn't concerned because he used his Yahoo email for messages that were "close to spam." In the message he posted to Twitter , he joked that "hopefully the cookie was forged by a state known for such delicacies."

___

AP Writer Paisley Dodds contributed to this story.

You may also interested in

Apple's Tim Cook: Fake news is 'killing people's...

Feb 11, 2017

Apple chief executive Tim Cook says fake news is "killing minds," and governments and tech firms...

The dirty dozen: UN issues list of 12 most...

Feb 27, 2017

The World Health Organization has issued a list of the top dozen bacteria most dangerous to humans,...

Less pressure to unwind eurozone stimulus as...

Mar 31, 2017

Inflation across the 19-country eurozone fell sharply in March due to softer underlying price...

Study: Taking abortion pill at home as safe as in...

May 17, 2017

Medical abortions done at home with online help and pills sent in the mail appear to be just as...

Rape inquiry dropped, WikiLeaks' Assange remains...

May 19, 2017

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange no longer is the subject of an active rape investigation in...

Sign up now!

About Us

Future Science Today reports on captivating developments in science, medicine, technology, and the world around us.

Contact us: sales[at]futuresciencetoday.com