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Judge rules that Yahoo Mail data breach victims can sue Yahoo

Published Mar 12th, 2018 7:29PM EDT
Yahoo Mail Data Breach
Image: Piutus

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You just have to think of Yahoo when talking about security data breaches, and that’s because Verizon’s newest subsidiary was the victim of repeated hacks from 2013 to 2016 that exposed the personal data of all its users to attackers.

If you’re one of the US-based victims of these breaches and are seeking some sort of retribution/compensation, you can take your chance against the company knowing that your case will go forward. Judge Judy Koh just ruled that victims can sue Yahoo following the hacks, dismissing Verizon’s request to dismiss these suits.

Koh on Friday night rejected a Verizon bid to dismiss many claims against Yahoo, Reuters reports, including negligence and breach of contract. In the past, Koh also dismissed Yahoo’s bid to dismiss some unfair competition claims.

The Yahoo hacks, even though they may have affected all of its 3 billion users, may have not been as bad as the recent attacks on Equifax. But that’s no excuse, especially given that Yahoo took its time to disclose some of them.

The company has been cooperating with the FBI, according to recent revelations about the Yahoo case, which is why the disclosures may have come later than usual. Two Russian intelligence agents and two hackers were charged last March in connection to the hacks, including a Canadian hacker who has pleaded guilty to aggravated identity theft and conspiracy charges in November. The other three have not been apprehended and are believed to be in Russia.

That said, some regular Yahoo users may have spent extra cash on various monitoring services and credit freezes after Yahoo’s late data breach disclosures to prevent any identity theft incidents.

“Plaintiffs’ allegations are sufficient to show that they would have behaved differently had defendants disclosed the security weaknesses of the Yahoo Mail System,” Koh wrote.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.