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Yahoo: New Security Breach may have affected more than One Billion User Accounts

Yahoo says it was notifying the account holders affected. They will be required to change their passwords

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FILE - The Yahoo logo is shown at the company's headquarters in Sunnyvale, California, April 16, 2013. VOA

New York, December 15, 2016: Yahoo has disclosed a new security breach that may have affected more than one billion user accounts.

The breach dates back to 2013 and is thought to be separate from a massive cyber security incident announced in September, the company revealed on Wednesday.

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“For potentially affected accounts, the stolen user account information may have included names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords (using MD5) and, in some cases, encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers,” said Bob Lord, Chief Information Security Officer, Yahoo, in a blog post.

The company previously disclosed that outside forensic experts were investigating the creation of forged cookies that could allow an intruder to access users’ accounts without a password.

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“Based on the ongoing investigation, we believe an unauthorised third party accessed our proprietary code to learn how to forge cookies. The outside forensic experts have identified user accounts for which they believe forged cookies were taken or used,” Lord said.

Yahoo says it was notifying the account holders affected. They will be required to change their passwords.

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“We have also invalidated unencrypted security questions and answers so that they cannot be used to access an account,” added Lord.

Yahoo said it had connected some of this activity to the same state-sponsored actor believed to be responsible for the data theft disclosed on September 22. (IANS)

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Google, YouTube Pull Over More Than 300 Trump Ads as US Prez Poll Nears

The main formats Google offers political advertisers are Search ads, YouTube ads and display ads. Under the new rules, political advertisers may target their ads only down to the postal code level

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A man walks past a Google sign outside with a span of the Bay Bridge at rear in San Francisco, May 1, 2019. VOA

More than 300 Donald Trump ads have been pulled by Google and its video-sharing platform YouTube for violating the companies’ policies. The campaign videos, notably, ran over the summer.

This comes at a time when handling political advertisements on social media has become a growing concern as the 2020 US presidential election approaches and tech giants are under fire over political ads.

Twitter has even decided to ban all kinds of political ads on its platform.

Over 300 video ads for President Trump were taken down, mostly over the summer, for violating the company policy. Compared to the TV, online ads can spread lies at an alarming rate — bolstered by machine-learning algorithms that can identify target audiences at enormous speed and scale, CBS News reported on Monday.

According to CBS News, even though the ads were taken down, the archive does not detail what policy was violated.

It was not clear if it was a copyright violation, a lie or extreme inaccuracy.

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FILE – Silhouettes are seen in front of a Youtube logo, in this picture illustration taken in Zenica, Oct. 29, 2014. VOA

The ads determined to be offending are not available to be screened. We found very little transparency in the transparency report, the report added.

It is pertinent to note that political ads on social media do not adhere to different rules than political ads on TV.

The political ads on social media fall under specific scrutiny because of their unique ability to disseminate bad information and their inability to properly tackle them.

Also Read: Huawei GT-2 Smartwatch Soon to be Launched in India

Meanwhile, earlier in November, Google announced new limits on political advertisers globally from micro-targeting users via election ads based on their political affiliation.

The main formats Google offers political advertisers are Search ads, YouTube ads and display ads. Under the new rules, political advertisers may target their ads only down to the postal code level. (IANS)