500 million users’ data including names, addresses and passwords have been stolen in Yahoo cyber attack

Data breach

Following what appears to be the largest cyber breach in history, a cyber expert has highlighted the need to have sufficient cover against hacking and online crime.

Yahoo confirmed on Thursday that hackers stole 500 million users’ account information from its network in late 2014.

The information stolen includes names, email addresses, telephones, dates of birth, passwords and security questions and answers.

The breach was discovered after 200 million Yahoo user accounts were posted for sale in an online marketplace in August.

Jamie Graves is a data security and enterprise software entrepreneur who works as the chief executive for ZoneFox, a cyber security firm which help protect companies’ data.

He said the cyber attack has emphasised the need for cyber security.

Graves said: “Yahoo has stunned the world by announcing what is thought to be the largest data breach to date.

“Organisations must not only have rigorous cyber security measures in place but also a disaster recovery plan to respond immediately to a breach if the, sometimes, inevitable occurs.

“The Yahoo attack highlights the reason why good detection capabilities, aligned with laws that force this form of disclosure in a short period are crucial to help protect personal information.”

Graves also said it is shocking that it has taken Yahoo this long to disclose the breach.

He said: “Although the size of the breach is staggering, what has stunned the industry most is the fact that it has taken Yahoo two years to disclose.

”In this time, a great deal of additional harm will have occurred to the comprised accounts ranging from account hijacking through to identity theft and fraud.”

Yahoo has notified all affected users to change passwords and to not click on or open any suspicious emails, links or attachments.

The hacker is being investigated with law enforcement authorities such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).