Yahoo blamed the heist on a “state-sponsored actor.”
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Yahoo has been struggling for years to keep people coming back to its digital services such as email. That challenge just got more daunting after hackers stole sensitive information from at least 500 million accounts. If these people give up on Yahoo as a result, the consequences for the company itself – now scheduled to become part of Verizon as soon as its $4.8 billion deal closes – could also be dire.In July, 161 million people worldwide used Yahoo email on personal computers, a 30 percent decline from the same time in 2014, when the breach first occurred.Yahoo began investigating a possible breach in July, around the time the tech site Motherboard reported that a hacker who uses the name "Peace" was trying to sell account information belonging to 200 million Yahoo users.Yahoo says it has more than 1 billion monthly users, although it hasn't disclosed how many of those people have email accounts.If the same password is used to access other sites, it should be changed too, as should any security questions similar to those used on Yahoo.News of the security lapse could cause some people to have second thoughts about relying on Yahoo's services, raising a prickly issue for the company as it tries to sell its digital operations to Verizon.
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