Security firm TrustedSec has found that more than 450,000 passwords have been exposed after a successful hack into Yahoo’s Voices website, the Guardian reports. Voices, formerly known as Associated Content before being purchased by Yahoo in 2010, is a news and analysis site that relies on user-generated content. The big problem with this particular hack, the Guardian says, is that “the passwords for the accounts were not encrypted — meaning that any hacker could scoop up the emails and immediately start using them against other services, including Yahoo Mail.” TrustedSec says the hack was executed using SQL injection attacks that are commonly used to hack into databases, and security expert Anders Nilsson has an analysis of the data that is linked below.
Update: Yahoo confirmed the breach and provided the following statement to TechCrunch:
At Yahoo! we take security very seriously and invest heavily in protective measures to ensure the security of our users and their data across all our products. We confirm that an older file from Yahoo! Contributor Network (previously Associated Content) containing approximately 400,000 Yahoo! and other company users names and passwords was stolen yesterday,July 11. Of these, less than 5% of the Yahoo! accounts had valid passwords. We are fixing the vulnerability that led to the disclosure of this data, changing the passwords of the affected Yahoo! users and notifying the companies whose users accounts may have been compromised. We apologize to affected users. We encourage users to change their passwords on a regular basis and also familiarize themselves with our online safety tips at security.yahoo.com.