U.S. officials are planning to charge four people for the hacking attacks launched against Yahoo, according to a Bloomberg report.
Yahoo suffered not just the worst online data breach for 2016, but of all time, with two separate incidents revealed last year that totaled over a billion user accounts compromised.
Four Hackers Behind Yahoo Data Breaches
The Department of Justice is accusing four people of being participants in the hacking attacks launched against Yahoo, according to Bloomberg's source who wished to remain anonymous due to the sensitive legal matter.
One of the people will be charged in Canada, while the three others are currently located in Russia.
According to CNN, the Department of Justice will soon be making the formal announcements for the charges, as claimed by a source in the law enforcement industry. However, the source did not say if the security breach was connected to the government of Russia, an accusation that has been thrown around ever since the first reports of the hack attacks against Yahoo surfaced.
Both Yahoo and the Department of Justice declined to issue a comment on the report, though the latter has scheduled a press conference for the morning of March 15.
Hack Attacks Against Yahoo
In September 2016, Yahoo revealed what was described as the biggest data breach in history, with the account information of 500 million users compromised. While financial information was not among the data that were affected by the attack, it was said that hackers were able to acquire the names, phone numbers, email addresses, and encrypted passwords with security questions of affected users.
Yahoo then claimed that the hack, which was carried out in late 2014, was done by a" state-sponsored actor," though the reasoning for such an allegation was not a sound one.
The security issues of Yahoo, however, did not end there. Just a few months after, in December 2016, Yahoo revealed another data breach that was carried out in August 2013. The number of user accounts that were compromised were even higher, with Yahoo claiming that over 1 billion users had their information stolen.
The series of security breaches reportedly made Verizon think twice about its planned $4.8 billion acquisition of Yahoo. After the first reported security breach, Verizon was said to be looking for a discount of $1 billion from the earlier agreed purchase price.
The security issues caused a delay in the closing of the acquisition, but last month, Verizon finally announced that it will be proceeding with the purchase of Yahoo's core business despite the two massive hacking attacks. However, the acquisition price will be discounted by $350 million, which is a better option for Yahoo than to have the deal canceled.
However, up until now, the intention and the backers of the hackers who launched the security breaches against Yahoo have not yet been identified, despite the in-depth investigations into the incidents. With the upcoming charges, perhaps more light will be shed on the matter, and hopefully, more information will be acquired to help prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.