500M Yahoo accounts hacked in massive 'state-sponsored' cyber attack

SAN FRANCISCO — Hackers stole information from at least 500 million Yahoo accounts in 2014 and the company believes that a state-sponsored actor was behind the data breach, the company announced Thursday.

Yahoo said in a news release the information stolen from these accounts may have included names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth. In some case, encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers may also have been stolen. The company didn't identify the country it believed was involved in the hack.

"The ongoing investigation suggests that stolen information did not include unprotected passwords, payment card data, or bank account information; payment card data and bank account information are not stored in the system that the investigation has found to be affected," the company said.

According to USA Today, a hacker using the name "Peace" tried to sell the usernames, passwords and dates of birth of Yahoo account users on the dark web this past August.

"Yahoo encourages users to review their online accounts for suspicious activity and to change their password and security questions and answers for any other accounts on which they use the same or similar information used for their Yahoo account," the company said. 

Justin Zaremba may be reached at jzaremba@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @JustinZarembaNJ. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

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