SUNNYVALE, Calif., Aug. 2 (UPI) — Yahoo is investigating a possibly massive data breach after the apparent user names, passwords and birth dates of up to 200 million users appeared for sale online.
The information might be from 2012 and is being sold by a hacker known as “Peace” for three bitcoins, or about $1,860.
Yahoo said in a statement it is “working to determine the facts.”
“Yahoo works hard to keep our users safe,” the company said. “And we always encourage our users to create strong passwords, or give up passwords altogether by using Yahoo Account Key, and use different passwords for different platforms.”
Alan Woodward, a security expert from Surrey University in England stressed taking the claims with a grain of salt.
“We have seen claims about similar dumps in the past weeks which have proved to be fake or just old data,” Woodward said. “People are still trying to work out if it is real or not.”
Online tech publication Motherboard said it was able to acquire a sampling of some of the information for sale and found most actually correspond to accounts on the service, however, many of the addresses failed to work, receiving a “This account has been disabled or discontinued,” or “This user doesn’t have a yahoo.com account” auto response.