Massive data breaches are constantly popping up all over the place. We told you about one earlier this week that impacted millions of air travelers who had personal information exposed.
But that one appears to be child’s play when compared to the one we found out about at Yahoo a couple years ago. Yahoo’s data breach is believed to be the largest ever to be discovered.
Pretty much everyone who had a Yahoo account when the breach occurred had their information stolen. It was so bad it led to a class action lawsuit. You’re not going to believe the amount everyone eligible for compensation could end up with. It’s almost comical.
Colossal Yahoo data breach
Yahoo admitted to one of the world’s largest data breaches on record a couple years ago. The breach actually occurred in 2013, but the company didn’t disclose it until 2016. At that time, Yahoo claimed that up to 1 billion of its customer accounts were impacted.
It turned out to be even worse than that. Yahoo later fessed up that 3 billion accounts were actually impacted at that time. That means every Yahoo account that was around in 2013 had user credentials stolen.
As you may know, Yahoo was acquired by Verizon last year. That’s how the additional breached accounts were discovered. A forensic investigation was completed following the acquisition, which determined that all Yahoo user accounts were affected by the 2013 hack.
What’s in the settlement?
As we said earlier, a class action lawsuit was filed over Yahoo’s massive breach in 2013. Well, the company has agreed on a settlement.
Yahoo will pay a total of $85 million to eligible victims. Oh, and it will also provide free credit monitoring for at least 2 years.
There are 200 million people who could potentially stake a claim to the settlement money. But first, we must deduct $35 million for legal fees, so the lawyers are going to get theirs. That leaves $50 million to split among the victims.
Not every Yahoo account holder is eligible to claim part of the settlement. There were up to 3 billion accounts breached, but just 200 million people who owned roughly 1 billion of those breached accounts are included in the lawsuit.
There will be a hearing held in a federal court next month to determine the fate of the settlement. If approved, claims can be submitted by any eligible Yahoo account holder who ended up with losses from the breach. Losses include identity theft, delayed tax refunds or other issues linked to having their information stolen during the data breach.
As part of the settlement, account holders could be compensated for time they spent dealing with it, up to $25 per hour with a max of 15 hours or $375. Here’s the problem, you have to be able to prove that you spent that time dealing with it.
Plus, since there’s so many potential people involved, the amount you receive could be minimal. The more people taking from the settlement fund, the less money there is to go around.
Yahoo has yet to release the website where you can apply for your portion of the settlement fund. The company will release that information in November.