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Yahoo’s Hack a Stark Reminder

When Yahoo Inc. on Thursday admitted that a “state-sponsored” hacker was able to abscond with 500 million user accounts, it was yet another reminder of how hard it can be to determine the root cause of an attack without the right training and tools, according to security experts.

According to Yahoo, the account information may have included names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, and hashed passwords, making this IT hack one of the largest on record to date. Back in August, technology website Motherboard revealed that a user by the name of “Peace” claimed to have access to the user data of 200 million Yahoo users. “Peace” sought to sell this information for three bitcoin, or around $1,860, according to the site.

According to Jacob Ginsberg, senior director at Toronto-based email encryption software firm Echoworx, “good enough” doesn’t cut it when it comes to cybersecurity. “Data persists, so even if you’ve taken steps to protect that information, hackers may have the tools to negate these defences six months, one year or three years down the line,” Ginsberg said in an email. “If you do the bare minimum now, this won’t do you any good in six months’ time.

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