Yahoo breach legal action goes global as Verizon mulls pullout from $4.8 billion deal

Yahoo’s spectacular data breaches — and the company’s responses to them — have generated more than two dozen lawsuits, and now allegedly affected users are coming out worldwide to sue the flailing Sunnyvale tech giant.

In the latter part of last year, Yahoo announced two record-setting data breaches, of at least 500 million accounts then of more than a billion accounts. The company also said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that it knew of the 500-million-account hack for nearly two years before revealing it.

The breaches, according to Yahoo, happened in 2013 and 2014, with the first one the largest.

Yahoo’s stunning announcements about the hacks were issued in the midst of its $4.8 billion sale to Verizon, which remains in limbo.

Users from across the U.S. have filed class-action lawsuits against Yahoo over the breaches and the firm’s responses to them. On Jan. 4, the legal action went global, with eight plaintiffs from around the world filing a class-action suit in U.S. District Court in San Jose.

Several of the plaintiffs alleged their stolen Yahoo data was used by bad actors.

“Plaintiff Decontee King-Sackie is an individual who resides in Monrovia, Liberia,” the lawsuit said. “She suffered actual damages as a result of Yahoo’s conduct. Her U.S.-based debit card information is sent to her email account and since 2013 she had unauthorized bank withdrawals from that account.”

Plaintiff Anna Naupa hails from Fiji. “Ms. Naupa had her bank and credit card information mailed to her Yahoo email account,” the lawsuit said. “In 2016, she had several unauthorized charges to her credit card account. Ms. Naupa has also suffered from having embarrassing spam emailed out from her account.”

Three plaintiffs in the suit are from Israel, and there’s one each from Armenia, Panama and Kosovo.

Yahoo did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Meanwhile, Verizon Executive Vice President Marni Walden said Thursday her firm remained undecided about going through with the $4.8 billion purchase of Yahoo.

“Unfortunately, I can’t sit here today and say with confidence one way or the other because we still don’t know,” Walden said at an investor conference, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Walden said Verizon was still looking into the effects of the billion-account breach, the WSJ reported.

A Yahoo spokeswoman told the WSJ, “We are confident in Yahoo’s value and we continue to work towards integration with Verizon.”

 

Photo: Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer delivers the keynote address in 2016 at the Yahoo Mobile Developer Conference in San Francisco. (Eric Risberg/AP)

 

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