Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) is poised to confirm a massive data breach of its service, according to several sources close to the situation, hacking that has exposed several hundred million user accounts.
While sources were unspecific about the extent of the incursion, since there is the likelihood of government investigations and legal action related to the breach, they noted that it is widespread and serious.
Apparently, a hacker named “Peace” infiltrated Yahoo’s network some time within the past few years, and has been selling user account information online through underground channels:
Earlier this summer, Yahoo said it was investigating a data breach in which hackers claimed to have access to 200 million user accounts and one was selling them online. “It’s as bad as that,” said one source. “Worse, really.”
This news couldn’t come at a worse time for Yahoo, which is set to sell its core businesses — which are at the crux of the cyber attack — for $4.8 billion to Verizon. That deal could now be in jeopardy, at least from a price perspective, as Verizon is sure to investigate the issue and possibly ask for a lower price. The acquisition also still needs approval both from regulators and Yahoo shareholders.
Verizon shares are thus far unaffected by the news, with the stock up $0.31 (+0.60%) to $52.18 in Thursday morning trading. VZ shares have gained 13.05% year-to-date, more than doubling the return of the S&P 500 during the same period.
The same goes for Yahoo shares, which were up $0.40 (+0.91%) to $44.54 this morning.