Lawsuit accuses Yahoo of gross negligence over 2014 data breach

© Mike Blake
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Yahoo over a data breach of over 500 million accounts. Although the hack occurred over two years ago, it was only recently discovered just as Yahoo executives negotiate a sale to Verizon.

The lawsuit was filed in Sunnyvale, California, by Yahoo users accusing the company of displaying “gross negligence” over the recently discovered data breach. It contends that the two years it took Yahoo to learn that the information for some 500 million accounts had been compromised was unacceptable.

The claimants cite research showing it takes an average 191 days for a hack to be identified and 58 days to contain a breach after it’s been discovered. However, this 2014 hack was just discovered on Thursday after what one unidentified source claimed was another potential data breach from July, the Mercury News reported.

The July breach ended up being unfounded, but unfortunately that was not good news for the company as it tries to negotiate a $4.8 billion sale to Verizon.

Although Yahoo has said that no financial information was taken from the accounts, the lawsuit argues that information from email addresses, dates of birth and even security questions can be used to steal a person’s identity.

The hack is believed to be the biggest in history and the class action suit cites a potential participant pool of 500,000. They are seeking a jury trial and unspecified damages. The breach is being investigated by the FBI, with Yahoo claiming a “state-sponsored actor” is to blame for the attack.