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500 Million Yahoo Accounts Attacked


Yahoo announced up to 500 million of its accounts were hacked sometime in 2014.

Yahoo announced up to 500 million of its accounts were hacked sometime in 2014.

This is What’s Trending Today.

The American company Yahoo says someone or a group of people may have stolen information from at least 500 million of its users in 2014.

The company reported the security problem on Thursday. It said computer hackers took “certain user account information,” such as email addresses, telephone numbers, and dates of birth.

On Friday, people used social media to talk about the theft.

Computer experts say people who have a Yahoo account should change their passwords if they have not done so since 2014.

The company said its investigation shows that the attack came from “what it believes is a state-sponsored actor” based outside the United States. Yahoo said the person or persons who copied the information received help from a foreign government.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation says it is investigating the theft.

One Twitter user commented on the news. She admitted she sometimes uses older equipment when sending information to others.

“People laugh when I tell them I still have a fax machine,” Susan Polakoff Shaw wrote. “But you can’t hack a fax.”

A fax machine uses telephone lines to send printed pages from one connected machine to another.

Another person on social media wrote a message to the hackers, asking if they could help him find his Yahoo password.

“If you find mine, can you tell me? It’s been lost since I last cleared my cookies.”

Michael Gartenberg writes about modern technology. He wondered if news of the hack may have been a “clever way to get 500m users to log into their Yahoo! Mail accounts.”

The comments point out that many people no longer consider Yahoo an important internet company.

In the late 1990s, so many people used Yahoo’s web search and email services that it was worth an estimated $125 billion. But its popularity has dropped. Earlier this year, Yahoo agreed to be sold to Verizon Communications for $4.8 billion.

And that’s What’s Trending Today.

I’m Dan Friedell.

Dan Friedell wrote this story for Learning English. George Grow was the editor.

Have you updated your Yahoo password? We want to hear from you. Write to us in the Comments Section or on our Facebook page.

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Words in This Story

passwordn. a secret series of numbers or letters that allows you to use a computer system

hacker – n. a person who secretly gets access to a computer system in order to get information, cause damage, etc. : a person who hacks into a computer system

fax – n. a system for sending and receiving printed materials (such as documents and drawings) and photographs using telephone lines

cookies – n. a file that may be added to your computer when you visit a Web site and that contains information about you (such as an identification code or a record of the Web pages you have visited)

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