Over 500 million Yahoo accounts are claimed to have been breached by a “state-sponsored” system of hackers. Yahoo revealed that this has been going on since 2014. Some of the stolen information includes passwords, usernames, e-mail addresses, dates of birth, phone numbers, and security questions and answers. No bank or credit card information was taken, however the other information can be used to access financial data from financial institutions.
This is the largest central data breach of any one site that has ever occurred. The FBI is also investigating the breach.
Now Yahoo has been hit with a class action lawsuit, which comes at an already very vulnerable time for the company as they are getting ready to be bought by Verizon for $4.8 billion dollars. This lawsuit comes from several people with Yahoo user accounts who realized their identity theft may have been the result of the data breach at Yahoo. The plaintiffs claim that Yahoo failed to protect users’ personal information. There has also been a lot of criticism leveled against Yahoo for its slow reaction time in dealing with the initial intrusion which occurred in August of 2013. Another main factor in the lawsuit is Yahoo’s negligence in helping victims of the attack recover from the effects of identity theft. Unlike other companies who have suffered a data breach, Yahoo failed to provide users with identity theft protection, in spite of the fact that they knew their users would be more likely to suffer an identity theft after the initial breach.
The suit followed within hours of Yahoo’s revelation that there was a second security breach which may have affected as many as one billion user accounts. Amy Vail from New York, represented by Labaton Sucharow LLP and Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP, leads the multiple class action lawsuits that will be presented before a judge in San Jose, California. The team will be pursuing a jury trial and unspecified damages.
An initial case-management conference is set for March 2.
The case is Vail v. Yahoo! Inc., 16-cv-07154, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).