Yahoo has admitted that its $4.8 billion sale to Verizon could potentially not go through, as new details regarding the breach of 500 million Yahoo users have emerged.
In a SEC filing, Yahoo claimed yesterday, “There is no assurance that the sale transaction will be consummated in a timely manner or at all.” This announcement comes just after recent revelations of the massive data breach have been exposed.
In the filing, Yahoo admits that staff members may have had knowledge of this incident for two years prior to revealing the news to the public in September 2016.
In the SEC filing, Yahoo claims, “Following this investigation, the company intensified an ongoing broader review of the company’s network and data security, including a review of prior access to the company’s network by a state-sponsored actor that the company had identified in late 2014. For example, our forensics experts are currently investigating certain evidence and activity that indicates an intruder, believed to be the same state-sponsored actor responsible for the security incident, created cookies that could have enabled such intruder to bypass the need for a password to access certain users’ accounts or account information.”
Yahoo has previously said that the user passwords stolen in the breach were hashed, but if cookies were used to circumvent the login mechanism, the encrypted passwords could potentially be irrelevant.
Since the incident, 23 separate consumer class action lawsuits have been filed against Yahoo in federal, state, and international courts. In addition, Yahoo reportedly experienced a $1 million hit in the quarter that ended September 30.
This investigation is currently still ongoing, but one can only assume that additional poor security practices will be discovered throughout the investigation.