Risk increased for other sites due to Yahoo breach

The day after the hackers exposing and exploiting more than 400,000 Yahoo Inc user names and passwords by publishing them on the web had raised serious questions about the risk of breach of security that other websites may also face.  Some of the logins and clear text passwords of Hotmail, Gmail, AOL   and MSN and Live.com were among those compromised.

The security firm Rapid 7 informed that a data file published on the web contained logins and clear text passwords of Yahoo in addition to other internet service providers that included Google Inc’s Gmail and AOL as well as Microsoft Corp’s Hotmail, MSN and Live Sites.  These three companies had requested the affected users to reset their passwords.  Yahoo in turn apologized for the breach in a written statement on receiving such bad news for a company that has already lost two chief executives in a year.  Yahoo is already reeling under pressure to revive its stalled revenue growth.

Yahoo’s Interim CEO Ross Levinsohn told attendees at the Yahoo’s annual shareholder meeting on Thursday morning that he is optimistic about the company’s progress. At the same meeting, Chairman Alfred Amoroso acknowledged that Yahoo had indeed experienced a turbulent year. The breach of Yahoo’s security has drawn flack from security experts who said that a major internet firm like Yahoo must have done a better job in protecting its user data.

Yahoo’s spokeswoman Dana Lengkeek did not respond to a request asking her to identify the companies whose passwords were stolen. The officials of Google, Microsoft and AOL were also not immediately available for their comments.  Yahoo neither disclosed about how many of the stolen logins were for Yahoo sites nor informed about how many passwords were valid.

Dana Lengkeek stated that an older file was stolen from the Yahoo Contributor Network which is an Internet publishing servicing company that Yahoo purchased last year and whose business is to help photographers, videographers and writers to sell their work over the web.  She added further, that they are fixing the vulnerability that had led to the disclosure of this data by changing the passwords of the affected Yahoo users and also by notifying the companies about their stolen user accounts.

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