PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Some 450,000 Yahoo users’ email addresses and passwords were leaked online because of a security breach.
Security experts say the hackers did this to warn Yahoo it was vulnerable.
In this case, the hackers simply went to a form on a Yahoo site where a user might fill in a name or address. They instead commanded it to serve up a list of log-ons.
“Basically what this means is these hackers found a list of email addresses and passwords that are used to log in to some of these Yahoo services,” CNET Tech Expert Brian Cooley said.
Security software company McAfee said Yahoo made it easy.
“It was easy because the data, the user names and passwords were not encrypted,” Gary Davis of McAfee said.
Once the hackers broke in, the information was in a format anyone could read.
The account information exposed isn’t just limited to Yahoo users, but others, including Gmail, Hotmail and AOL accounts.
The hackers dumped the data online — and that revealed something even more stunning. Many people are using weak passwords like “123456” or the word “password.”
Yahoo claimed in a statement only an “old file” from its contributor network was compromised.
Security experts advise users with a Yahoo account to go in and change your password and be more creative when creating a new one.