Some Yahoo employees knew that a hacker backed by foreign government broke into its network and stole millions of email accounts, encrypted passwords and birth dates , as the tech giant revealed it through a legal filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Wednesday, which could represent huge impact not only on its reputation but also on a possible deal with Verizon that has been frozen some weeks ago.
Yahoo Didn't Inform Verizon About The Breach
The company first publicly revealed the security breach on September 22, two months after it struck a billion-dollar deal with Verizon. Yahoo told that time that they discovered the hacking when they were investigating a hacker´s claim in July who obtained some user data from the company. The big issue was that the tech giant didn't inform Verizon about the breach, and some of its executives expressed that Yahoo´s value should be less than the $4.8 billion previously accorded.
Of course, Yahoo's problems in all these weeks hasn´t only been the hacker issue, but also a scandal where it was revealed a few days after, when it was known that the firm was monitoring emails from its users on behalf of the U.S. intelligence, which created a huge controversy among American citizens about how the government was threatened their privacy.
Yahoo Staff Members Knew About a State-Sponsored Hacker
However, the SEC filings have just revealed that at least some Yahoo employees had knowledge that a state-sponsored actor had access to Yahoo´s network in late 2014. What´s even worse is that an independent committee is now investigating this issue, focusing on how much the company knew about what was happening.
Although the company has said that it is also investigating this case, it has not yet released any kind of technical analysis to prove that some hackers affiliated with a foreign government were the actors in the security breach operation. In fact, security experts have explained that Yahoo´s assertion about this situation doesn't seem to be reliable.
According to the International Business Times, this event now puts Verizon in the spotlight, since this company is now the one who can make the most important decisions about the billionaire deal. In fact, Yahoo said that there´s no guarantee that the sale transaction could be made at all, and that the anticipated benefits of this deal may not be released.
The Deal Between Yahoo And Verizon Is No Longer Great
Giving this situation, what everyone´s asking is if Verizon would keep going forward to make the deal with Yahoo, considering that these kinds of scandals are not precisely what giant company is looking for in an acquisition since its reputation could get into question for doing business with an unreliable part.
However, Verizon could keep betting on this deal, since even when the situation could harm its image, an important acquisition of this kind could be now way cheaper than it was expected. In fact, the company bosses might be looking for a $1 billion discount in order to remain in negotiations with Yahoo.
The delicate detail is that if the deal is closed, it could set a disturbing precedent since it is not completely sure that Yahoo didn't have anything to do with the leaks operations, in which half a billion users were hacked. According to The New York Times, 23 lawsuits related to the breach have been filed against the tech giant in the U.S. and abroad. Although Yahoo stated that it will cooperate, what seems to be one of the greatest deals in tech history, has now become an ugly business.