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Betrayal at the Checkout

posted on: Thu Oct 20 2016

How would you feel if your best friend had known for two years that your significant other was cheating on you and never told you? Mad? Angry? Betrayed? Vulnerable? In today’s world, this feeling can be akin to a company knowing that its users’ most personal data, like credit card information or passwords, have been readily available to hackers on the web for not just hours or days, but YEARS – and you’re just finding out about it now.


The Cheater

Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened with Yahoo. In 2014, hackers breached the personal data of over 500 million users who are just now learning the extent of the company’s “infidelity.” What’s more, recent data breaches combined with increasing use of new mobile payment solutions make it easier for thieves to obtain and use stolen data, leaving merchants and consumers extremely vulnerable to fraud. 

But Yahoo isn’t the only “bad boy” of the bunch; hacks at LinkedIn and Myspace were recently announced to the public years after they actually occurred. When it comes to announcing a breach to the public, does “once a cheater, always a cheater” ring true?

The Confrontation

Yahoo started investigating claims from hackers stating that they had millions of usernames and passwords for sale, and determined that hackers had accessed its corporate network. Thought to be the work of China or Russia, though both countries have denied involvement, Yahoo points the finger at a “state-sponsored actor.”

Whoever it was, your “relationship” – or account – is in jeopardy. Yahoo pleads its case: they say there’s no evidence that stolen information included unprotected passwords, payment card data, or bank account information, and that they are working closely with law enforcement. Still, breached account information may have included names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords and encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers. How can you, the loyal partner, recover from this?

The Healing Process

You should know that Yahoo, and companies like it, do take steps to secure their users accounts after a hack. But our loyal merchant partners can rest assured that they are in a committed relationship with Kount – from day one. Whether a formal announcement is made two days or two years following a breach, Kount merchants are protected from fraud from the day a breach actually occurred and beyond.


Prosecuting the Perps