Another Data Breach at Yahoo

Written: December 15, 2016

Many of us have online accounts for business or entertainment, however when they get hacked then our personal data has been stolen too, which could place your financial life in trouble. Today I received a notice from Yahoo about their latest data breach, here’s what they had to say:

Yahoo data breach

Dear Daniel,

We are writing to inform you about a data security issue that may involve your Yahoo account information. We have taken steps to secure your account and are working closely with law enforcement.

What Happened?

Law enforcement provided Yahoo in November 2016 with data files that a third party claimed was Yahoo user data. We analyzed this data with the assistance of outside forensic experts and found that it appears to be Yahoo user data. Based on further analysis of this data by the forensic experts, we believe an unauthorized third party, in August 2013, stole data associated with a broader set of user accounts, including yours. We have not been able to identify the intrusion associated with this theft. We believe this incident is likely distinct from the incident we disclosed on September 22, 2016.

What Information Was Involved?

The stolen user account information may have included names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords (using MD5) and, in some cases, encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers. Not all of these data elements may have been present for your account. The investigation indicates that the stolen information did not include passwords in clear text, payment card data, or bank account information. Payment card data and bank account information are not stored in the system we believe was affected.

What We Are Doing

We are taking action to protect our users:

  • We are requiring potentially affected users to change their passwords.
  • We invalidated unencrypted security questions and answers so that they cannot be used to access an account.
  • We continuously enhance our safeguards and systems that detect and prevent unauthorized access to user accounts.

What You Can Do

We encourage you to follow these security recommendations:

  • Change your passwords and security questions and answers for any other accounts on which you used the same or similar information used for your Yahoo account.
  • Review all of your accounts for suspicious activity.
  • Be cautious of any unsolicited communications that ask for your personal information or refer you to a web page asking for personal information.
  • Avoid clicking on links or downloading attachments from suspicious emails.

Additionally, please consider using Yahoo Account Key, a simple authentication tool that eliminates the need to use a password on Yahoo altogether.

For More Information

For more information about this issue and our security resources, please visit the Yahoo Security Issues FAQs page available at https://yahoo.com/security-update.

Protecting your information is important to us and we work continuously to strengthen our defenses.

Sincerely,

Bob Lord

Chief Information Security Officer

Yahoo

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Apple MacBook Pro Woes

Written: December 12, 2016

I’ve been using an Apple MacBook Pro brand of laptop computer for three generations now, however there is a myth that Apple laptops are more reliable than PC laptops. On my 17″ MacBook Pro laptop the keyboard started having keys that no longer work, so I’ve got an appointment at the Apple Genius Bar today to probably have the keyboard replaced. As a work-around I’ve added a wireless keyboard so that I can continue my work.

As a backup for my 17″ MacBook Pro I have a 2nd computer, a 15″ MacBook Pro, so I took it off the shelf and placed it on my table, however it wouldn’t sit on the table flat, it wobbled instead. Hmm, what would cause my laptop to no longer sit flat? I opened the laptop up only to be horrified to see that the trackpad had been destroyed. What would cause a trackpad to be pushed out from the inside?

I took the bottom of my 15″ MacBook Pro apart to see what was going on, and look what I found, a bulging battery had pushed the trackpad to crack and moved the bottom of the case. Doing a Google search for “MacBook Pro battery bulging” I found that this is a known problem with many people reporting the same issue. I’ve got an 11:55AM appointment at the Genius Bar, so I will bring them two broken MacBook Pros, one with a bad keyboard and the other with a bad battery, broken trackpad and bulged case. Wish me luck.

Oh, and Apple laptop hardware is not more reliable than PC hardware, both brands will have failures.

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Tualatin Chamber Holiday Auction and Dinner

Written: December 7, 2016

Last night I attended the 21st annual Holiday Auction and Dinner, organized by the Tualatin Chamber of Commerce. The event starts out with three rounds of silent auctions, dinner is then served, and finally the live auction takes place. At dinner the room at the Tualatin Country Club was packed.

Tualatin Chamber holiday dinner

There were many speeches during the dinner time from Chamber volunteers and members from our community. The funniest event of the evening for me to watch is a fund-raiser called “Heads or Tails” where participants buy a string of beads, stand up, then try and guess if a coin toss will come up heads or tails. If they guess correctly, then they can stay standing, otherwise they have to remove one string of beads or sit down in defeat. This year it probably took 12 rounds or so to find the winner, and we heard about 90% heads from the coin tosses instead of the expected 50%.

Classy event, lots of donated goods and services to buy at the auctions, wine, good food, plenty of networking, I’ll be there again in 2017.

Tualatin Country Club

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But I Didn’t Even Order an iPad

Written: November 29, 2016

I just went through my morning list of emails and there was one message from Self Electronics about the shipment of an iPad. It’s a coincidence that I already own an iPad, however I didn’t order any new iPad.

iPad phishing

The senders of this email set a subject line as if we had been communicating before, adding a bit to the realism of the message. I was curious if there actually was a company called Self Electronics, so I browsed their web site:

self-electronics.com is a scam

So this company doesn’t even have a valid web site, that’s enough info for me to know that this email really was just another phishing scam where they want me to click the link for UPS tracking. The final test of authenticity is found by hovering over the UPS link:

UPS link

So the UPS link is really for some bogus web site, telling me that there is no need to be lured into clicking it.

Remember, a real company will know a lot about you and in their legitimate email it will include info like:

If this trusted information is missing from your email message, then it’s very likely that you are being duped by a phishing scheme or just some shady site trying to sell you something that you likely don’t even need. With a little precaution you can make certain that all of your emails are legitimate.

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