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Yahoo! accused of spying on users


Account security is critical to any website or program that you can use. There are several ways to increase the security of your accounts. You can create long, complex passwords that only you will know. In addition, most accounts can be configured to not remain registered. Some sites offer a secondary authorization feature. Its essence is that if you log into your account from an unknown device (for example, a new computer or phone), you will be asked to answer a specific question or they will check you by providing answers to messages. Yahoo uses a secondary login verification process to provide its users with an extra layer of security. Activating this feature is easy.

Reuters: Yahoo secretly monitored user mail at the request of US intelligence

According to a secret U.S. government decree, hundreds of millions of Yahoo Mail accounts were verified at the request of the National Security Agency (NSA) or the FBI.

Experts noted that this is the first time that an American Internet company agreed to the demands of the intelligence agency to scan all incoming messages instead of checking the stored letters or monitoring a small number of accounts in real time.

The head of Yahoo! Marissa Mayer, who herself ordered the engineers to develop and install the program without notifying the information security service.

A few weeks later, specialists at the unit discovered a system for checking letters, mistaking it for the work of hackers.

At the same time, the report does not specify exactly what information the US intelligence officers looked for in the letters of users. It is noted that they demanded from Yahoo! Find data by a specific character set. According to sources, this can mean both a phrase in a letter and an appendix to it.

It is noted that some senior employees left Yahoo! after deciding to collaborate with US intelligence.
The company denied allegations of mass surveillance of users ’mail, calling the material" misleading. "

Mayer did her thing, Mayer can leave

“We carefully interpret every government request for user data in order to minimize disclosure of [information],” the company said in a statement. The letter emphasizes that on Yahoo! there is no mail scan described in Reuters. Whether such a system existed before and whether a request was received from the US government to check all incoming letters is not specified.

Turning for comment, Reuters received a response that the company is law-abiding and complies with US laws. Social media users drew attention to the wording of Yahoo !, which does not refute the information in the report.

At the same time, Google, Facebook and Microsoft said that they had never secretly monitored users of their email services.

Snowden's Calls

Former CIA and NSA officer Edward Snowden posted in his Twitter account a call to close their accounts addressed to users of Yahoo !.

“Using Yahoo?” They secretly scanned everything you ever wrote, ”Snowden said, adding that this happened far beyond the requirements of the law. “Close your account today,” he wrote.

Snowden suggested that other major platforms could be guilty of surveillance at the request of the special services: “Beware: any other major mail service that does not categorically deny this is as guilty of it as Yahoo!”

Heads up: Any major email service not clearly, categorically denying this tomorrow - without careful phrasing - is as guilty as Yahoo.

The former US intelligence officer has every reason not to trust large Internet services. So, in 2013, Snowden disclosed information about the PRISM special services program, which includes mass surveillance of negotiations between Americans and foreign citizens via telephone and the Internet. According to him, the system allows the NSA to read e-mail, listen to voice and video chats, view photos, and track files being transferred.

Special services not to find

According to Snowden, PRISM was attended by Microsoft (Hotmail), Google (Gmail), Yahoo !, Facebook, YouTube, Skype, AOL, Apple and Paltalk.

After the Snowden’s revelations were published in the media, the largest IT companies turned to US President Barack Obama for permission to disclose to their users information about special services requests.

The request was granted, and Internet players got the opportunity to inform the public about the criteria by which the special services request information, the number of requests from the special services, as well as about the accounts that the special services are interested in. However, companies were not allowed to report exactly what information the government requested.

Reputation attack

This is not the first recent scandal involving Yahoo !. Some time ago, the company confirmed that in 2014, information about 500 million user accounts was stolen from the database. According to Business Insider, the leak could have affected a whole billion user accounts.

Yahoo! hacked a reputation

Stolen from Yahoo! Database The information included names, email addresses, phone numbers, birth dates and passwords, as well as bank account information.

Due to the scale of the hack and the user's habit of using the same passwords in different services, cybersecurity experts predict that an attack can affect data security and other Internet sites. Accounts at banks, online stores, etc. can be vulnerable.

The company was publicly criticized for being so late in acknowledging the compromise of their personal data by intruders.
In this situation, it’s hard not only for Yahoo! itself, but also for Verizon, which should acquire an Internet company. The mobile operator declines to comment on the press.