Oops: One Billion Yahoo Accounts Were Stolen…Again


Yahoo can’t catch a break.

The internet company announced that their user accounts were hacked yet again. In 2013, this unprecedented hack exposed usernames, passwords, and other personal data to hackers, granting them illegal access to sensitive materials. Worst of all, the state-sponsored attack affected over one billion accounts, or a little less than one-seventh of the world’s population.

If this sounds familiar, that’s because 500 million accounts were compromised in another attack in 2014. Yahoo revealed the previous hack earlier this year after Verizon made a move to acquire the struggling internet company. The revelations of the first attack caused investors to lose faith in the company, thus having a negative impact on Yahoo’s stock.

But how is the company faring after yesterday’s hack announcement? Not too well, actually.

Yahoo used to be the website to visit. These days, however, they’re known for a few web properties and their minority stake in Alibaba.

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Yahoo owns Tumblr, Flickr, and 15.4% of Alibaba, one of the largest online retailers in China. They also own Yahoo Finance, Yahoo Fantasy, and a few other Yahoo-related properties that people still frequent.

Yahoo needs a buyer to succeed in the future, which is why Verizon is in the middle of purchasing them.

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Verizon wants to purchase Yahoo’s existing business, which is everything except for their Alibaba holding and their stake in Yahoo Japan (a separate company). Verizon previously did the same for AOL, and plans to merge the two companies together once the acquisition is complete. Verizon, however, could potentially acquire Yahoo for a lot less now that the company suffered not one, but two different hacks that compromised their users’ data.

After revealing a second hacking attack took place, Yahoo’s stock decreased in value.

YHOO Yahoo stock

The company’s stock is down 4.79% as of this writing. After all, if Yahoo can’t keep their accounts secure, it could drive away users in droves. Yahoo’s value would then decrease as their user base dwindles, which would mean the Verizon acquisition could be valued at a lot less than the proposed $4.8 billion. This would mean shareholders get less money than they originally thought, which would also drive away investors from the stock.

Should you invest in Yahoo? If you think the hacks will have a minimal effect on Verizon’s purchase and the company will still get a fair amount for their core business, then be sure to research their financial statements before you consider making a purchase. If you’re of the opinion, however, that the former internet darling’s value will suffer from these breaches (as many security experts believe), then you might want to invest your money elsewhere.