Legal Action to be Taken Over Yahoo Hacks

The US government is to issue indictments over security breaches which compromised millions of Yahoo users and had once threatened to derail the sale of the company’s web operations to Verizon. According to a Bloomberg source, the US Department of Justice suspects four people of playing a part in security breaches in which hackers stole personal information from millions of users.

The quartet are based in Russia and Canada, and at least one arrest in Canada is expected in the coming days. However, there are currently no extradition treaties between Russia and the US. Yahoo suffered two major data hacks, one in 2014 impacting 500 million user accounts and one in 2013, hitting more than 1 billion people. At this stage, it is unclear which hack the pending indictments are related to.

The news comes less than a month after US operator Verizon finalised its deal to acquire Yahoo, despite the merger looking under threat after the security breaches were revealed last year. Following an investigation into the hacks, Verizon insisted on a price reduction before completing the takeover of Yahoo’s internet assets, and eventually agreed to pay $4.48 billion, some $350 million less than it originally agreed to pay.

However, a separate report from Bloomberg this week indicated Verizon sought a bigger reduction, and CEO Lowell McAdam had even threatened to kill the deal. Citing a regulatory filing, Bloomberg reported McAdam suggested a price cut of as much as $925 million, an offer which was rejected by Yahoo’s board.