Reports indicate that Yahoo is getting ready to announce a massive data breach that originally surfaced this summer.
Unidentified sources told Recode that a hacking incident has potentially exposed several hundred million users accounts. The information currently available about the situation is scarce, but it is known to be “widespread and serious.”
It’s important to note that this announcement will take place as the company attempts to sell its core business to Verizon for $4.8 billion. A large data breach could potentially sway shareholders to reconsider the acquisition, since the sale cannot go through without their approval.
This breach was originally reported in August, when it became known that a hacker was supposedly advertising over 200 million exposed Yahoo accounts from 2012 on the Dark Web. The hacker, who went by the name of “Peace” set the price for this data at 3 bitcoins, or approximately $1800.
At the time, Yahoo did not require users to instigate a password reset on their accounts, if the situation has escalated, however, the struggling company may have no choice.
Reuters reports that such attacks consist of cybercriminals using automated programs to cycle through stolen user ID’s and passwords and using them to log into personal accounts such as banks, travel firms and online gaming firms.
Related: Verizon to buy Yahoo for $4.83 billion, AOL exec emphasizes ‘synergy’ between properties