Yahoo becomes latest victim of hacking

Author: Tarik Minor, Anchor-reporter, tminor@wjxt.com
Published On: Jan 31 2014 04:42:23 PM EST   Updated On: Feb 01 2014 08:09:13 AM EST
Yahoo computer screen
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

It's the latest in a string of security breaches. This time Yahoo is admitting that usernames and passwords of its email customers have been compromised.

Yahoo is the second largest email service in the world. The company hasn't said exactly how many people are affected.

The access the hackers gained on Yahoo could lead to a much more serious security breaches in banks and stores. Hackers are using information contained in the hacked email accounts to harvest information about financial accounts or other personal information, or they are selling personal information online.

"You can get 100,00 email addresses for like $25," said computer expert Chris Hamer, who works for the Bradford County Sheriff's Office.

Hamer said hackers are selling personal information by the bulk to thieves who, in turn, use that information to gain access to bank accounts.

"Credit card information can go from anywhere from $15 to $30 a pop for each card," Hamer said. "You buy them in a group of a hundred."

This marks the second time Yahoo has been hacked. In 2012, 450,000 customers' information was compromised. Yahoo has yet to reveal how deep the infiltration is this time.

"It looks like the people were at third party websites, people tied into yahoo, and had a large host of yahoo accounts where they stored their database in an insecure fashion," Hamer said.

Yahoo is telling its customers it is doing everything it can to track down the hackers and resecure breached accounts. But just weeks after major companies like Target fell victim to a similar thing, consumer confidence is suffering.

"I feel like no place is safe anymore. They did it to several companies," computer user Sandy Hibbard said.

She said the increase in hacking isn't a surprise at all, and, in her eyes, won't effect the company's bottom line.

"I think it could, but most people realize it can happen anywhere, so what do you do?" Hibbard said.