Yahoo Hacking: Perpetrators and Goals

Yahoo has recently experienced two significant data thefts. The first episode happened in 2014 when the personal data of nearly 500 people was stolen, and the most recent one happened in 2016 when the accounts of over a billion people were compromised. These instances actually shed light on some of the biggest data breaches that have occurred since the Internet's inception. (Perlroth, 2016).

Hackers and State-Sponsored Actors

Due to its significance, this essay examines the Yahoo hacking problem by discussing the perpetrators and their goals, the gravity and the means of the crime, as well as the tactics used. To start with, the hackers were mainly interested in obtaining the initials of the account holders, including their names, telephone numbers, emails, encrypted passwords, or even the security questions, by paying special attention to the government of the United States and the other employees, especially in the private sector. To conduct such a far-reaching crime, hackers usually receive support from their government; in other words, not the individuals but “state-sponsored actors” are responsible, especially in the case of countries like China, South Korea, and Russia (Perlroth, 2016).

Russian Involvement and Speculation

In this context, the US Department of Justice (2017) believes that two Russian spy officials, Dmitry Dokuchaev and Igor Sushchin, conducted the hacking by hiring cyber criminals. However, top Russian officials deny the alignment. Therefore, the issue still remains on a serious debate since some of the available information is being based rather speculation than the evidence (May, 2016). Notwithstanding, all the evidence points at Russia, which hardens suspicion on the Russian involvement in Yahoo hacking.

Means and Tactics Employed

Furthermore, according to the information obtained from court proceedings, the hackers infiltrated the Yahoo's defense and obtained its database with all the relevant data, including the usernames and phone numbers. Then, this information was used for concocting or forging user's files. Through playing around with the cookies, it was easy to trick the Yahoo computers and login to the targeted accounts. Hackers also used an account management tool to look for email addresses that have been backed up by users. With these methods and tools, hackers accessed over 6500 accounts, but this number is probably greater. With the successful forging of cookies in 2016, hackers are currently able to obtain the data on over 30 million people (Perlroth, 2016).

Impact on Privacy and National Security

Finally, the hackers used considered and target-specific strategies. According to Yahoo, the hacking was a result of the lack of proper communication and coordination, coupled with poor management inquiry and internal reporting. Moreover, the crime threatens the principle of privacy in general and the national security in particular. On the one hand, the hacked information can be easily used to establish phishing infiltrations to account users, accessing vital and private information and involving it for hidden and malicious transactions. On another hand, the fact that the data of over 150,000 government and military workers in the US is striking in Yahoo hacking (May, 2016).


In sum, Yahoo hacking is a complex issue that has affected most Internet users. Even though official Russia rejects these accusations, the recent information from court and other investigations indicate that Russia played a primary role towards the current breaches through its FSB agency. This crime already lasts for two years, and it is a serious threat to privacy and the US national security by stealing the personal information from the accounts of over a billion users. Therefore, the level of secrecy and the number of victims make it possible to state that hackers demonstrated exceptional skills and knowledge to conduct a crime.


Department of Justice (2017, March 15). U.S. charges Russian FSB officers and their criminal conspirators for hacking Yahoo and millions of email accounts. Justice News. Retrieved on March 30, 2017, from

May, P. (2016, December 15). How a super cyber-sleuth helped crack the huge Yahoo hack. East Bay Times. Retrieved on March 30, 2017, from

Perlroth, N. (2016, September 22). Yahoo says hackers stole data on 500 million users in 2014. The New York Times. Retrieved on March 30, 2017, from

Deadline is approaching?

Wait no more. Let us write you an essay from scratch

Receive Paper In 3 Hours
Calculate the Price
275 words
First order 15%
Total Price:
$38.07 $38.07
Calculating ellipsis
Hire an expert
This discount is valid only for orders of new customer and with the total more than 25$
This sample could have been used by your fellow student... Get your own unique essay on any topic and submit it by the deadline.

Find Out the Cost of Your Paper

Get Price