Data breach victims can sue Yahoo in the US

Yahoo corporate headquarters

You just have to think of Yahoo when talking about security data breaches, and that's because Verizon's newest subsidiary was the victim of repeated hacks from 2013 to 2016 that exposed the personal data of all its users to attackers.

The decision, made by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California, rejected an appeal from Verizon, which bought Yahoo last June, to dismiss numerous claims made against Yahoo in the lawsuit, including alleged negligence and breach of contract.

One of the reasons why ruling went against Yahoo is Yahoo took nearly 4 years to reveal the truth about the data breach, which, according to judge, is a serious breach of contract and risking identity as well as assets of the shareholders. Other customers had to pay out to credit bureaus to freeze their accounts. In addition to advancing negligence claims, Koh said users can seek punitive damages under California law relating to their claims Yahoo knew it had an inadequate security apparatus, but did little to address it and did not inform users immediately when the hacks occurred.

Zack Whittaker can be reached securely on Signal and WhatsApp at 646-755-8849, and his PGP fingerprint for email is: 4D0E 92F2 E36A EC51 DAAE 5D97 CB8C 15FA EB6C EEA5.

Yahoo suffered a setback and therefore sold the business to the Verizon Communications at a very cheap price offering a discount worth $350 million.

The plaintiffs amended their complaint after Yahoo last October revealed that the 2013 breach affected all 3 billion users, tripling its earlier estimate. They say Yahoo's failure to promptly disclose the depth and breadth of the hack created direct financial harm.

Judge Lucy Koh agreed that the plaintiffs' allegations are sufficient to show that they would have behaved differently had Yahoo disclosed the security weaknesses of the Yahoo Mail System.

USA prosecutors have charged four individuals - two Russian intelligence agents and two hackers - in connection with the data breach.

One accused hacker, Karim Baratov, a Canadian born in Kazakhstan, pleaded guilty in November to aggravated identity theft and conspiracy charges. The other three have not been apprehended and are believed to be in Russian Federation.

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