The Justice Department Says It Knows Who Hacked Yahoo – Vanity Fair
The U.S. Department of Justice is expected to announce indictments against four people on Thursday for their alleged roles in at least one massive cyber-attack that compromised hundreds of millions of Yahoo accounts. One individual may soon be arrested in Canada for his or her role in the hacking attack, Bloomberg reports, while three others are currently in Russia and may have ties to the Russian government, according to The Wall Street Journal.
It is not clear whether the indictments will be related to Yahoo’s first major security breach, in 2013, which affected a billion Yahoo user accounts, or a separate 2014 hack, which involved about 500 million accounts. At the time it disclosed the 2014 data breach last year, Yahoo said it may have been hacked by a “state-sponsored actor.” U.S. officials have been stepping up actions against alleged cyber intrusions originating in Russia, whose government intelligence agencies have also blamed for a series of high-profile hacks directed against the Democratic Party last year.
Verizon, which has been in the process of acquiring Yahoo for the better part of the past year, had sought a discount on its Yahoo purchase as a result. Though Verizon had tried to reduce the price by $925 million in light of the hacks, the telecom company eventually settled for a $350 million discount, reducing Yahoo’s $4.83 billion sale price to $4.48 billion. Yahoo C.E.O. Marissa Mayer was criticized for her company’s slow response to the hacks, and Yahoo management also suffered for the scandal: Earlier this month, Mayer agreed to forgo her 2016 cash bonus and a 2017 stock award, worth a combined $14 million, in the wake of the hacks, and Yahoo chief legal counsel Ron Bell resigned without severance.
The hacks further tarnished Mayer’s tenure as C.E.O., a four-and-a-half-year stint during which Mayer was tasked with turning around the flailing 90s Internet company. She ultimately failed to do so, making pricy M&A deals and hiring expensive talent while struggling to invent a new mobile-first strategy to keep Yahoo moving forward. Mayer will step down when Yahoo closes its sale to Verizon, Yahoo announced in an S.E.C. filing on Monday, and Altaba, the holding company that will be created to hold the remainder of Yahoo’s assets after the deal closes, will be taken over by Yahoo board member Thomas McInerney.