Yahoo announced yesterday that over 500 million of their users had their account details stolen 2 years ago

Yahoo, known for it’s search engine, news and mail services, announced yesterday that 500 million account details had been stolen. The data stolen includes the usernames and passwords for email accounts, including postal addresses and dates of birth. A Yahoo spokesperson made it clear that there were no bank or credit card details stolen in the breach.

In recent years, Yahoo has struggled to compete with the likes of Google and Bing in being the most popular web search engine. In an act to gain popularity they made their site not only a search engine, but also a news site and like Google, an email service. Apparently this wasn’t enough as in July 2012 they appointed Marissa Mayer as CEO who wanted to make Yahoo relevant again. Since her appointment Yahoo have bought Tumblr for $1.1Bn and attempted to revamp their mail, weather and Flickr services. However this has proven unsuccessful, since Marissa Mayers appointment Yahoo shares have dropped and they are now on the verge of being sold to telecoms-giant Verizon for $4.8Bn.

Yahoo’s data breach has been kept from the public for 2 years as they have held their own investigation into the matter, and attempted to resolve as much as they can. Security experts suspect the announcement has been made far too late, that the data could have already been sold and users credentials could have already been used for fraudulent activity. Yahoo have asked all users to change their passwords, along with Sky who’s email service is provided by Yahoo. BT have said they are holding an investigation themselves but have asked the minority of their customers who have their own Yahoo email accounts to do the same.

The last 5-10 years have been difficult enough for Yahoo and CEO Marissa Mayer, this could all but end Yahoo for good, but we will have to wait and see.