Yahoo Set To Disclose Massive 2012 Data Breach That Compromised 200 Million Users

Yahoo is getting ready to disclose a data breach that exposed account details for at least 200 million users. While nothing is yet official on Yahoo's part, the forthcoming disclosure is likely related to a security breach earlier this summer that Yahoo previously said it was investigating. Since then, a cybercriminal who goes by the name "Peace" has been selling the data on the dark web for $1,800.

Peace, who has been linked to other high profile security breaches, claims the data includes usernames, passwords that are easy to decrypt, and personally information such as birth dates, email addresses, and more. Yahoo said back in August that it was "aware of the claim" but stopped short of confirming it, saying only that it was investigating the matter.

Yahoo Sign

The timing for Yahoo couldn't be any worse. It's in the midst of seeking regulatory approval for a deal with Verizon to sell its core business for $4.83 billion, the same core business that's been massively hacked. While the deal is nearly complete, regulatory agencies and Yahoo's shareholders have to sign off on the agreement. That could be a problem if Yahoo's share price tanks following confirmed details of the hack.

It's also an unfortunate situation for Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer. The former Google executive stepped into a challenging role as head of Yahoo and has been unable to turn the company's fortunes around. Having a security breach of this magnitude happen on her watch provides critics with more ammunition, though to be fair, Yahoo is far from the only company to be hacked in recent years.