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Cyber security expert speaks of effects of Yahoo breach

500 million user accounts stolen


SAN ANTONIO – It may be of the largest cyber security breaches in recent time. According to Yahoo, at least 500 million user accounts were stolen. The breach is believed to have happened in late 2014.

"The financial gain, where people get credit card information, that’s just financial gain; we already know what those bad guys are doing. They’re going be stealing your money. Whereas the personal information gain, that’s where you need to start thinking, ‘What’s their motive?’," said Jacob Stauffer, the vice president of operations at Coherent Cyber.

Stauffer has been in the cyber security business for years. He said customer awareness is key when it comes to protecting valuable information.

"If you're giving information to an organization that's had a major breach every year, maybe it’s time to switch services and go somewhere else," Stauffer said.

Yahoo said it believes a state-sponsored actor is behind the data breach. The account information stolen may include names, email addresses, phone numbers, birthdates, passwords, security questions and answers.

"In the cases of nation state actors their looking to gain intelligence. Their looking to gain information about people of the target country or the target cooperation," said Stauffer.

Yahoo is still investigating the breach. Users are being urged to change their passwords, strengthen their security questions and review their accounts for suspicious activity.