Yahoo! confirms info on 500 million user accounts stolen

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP)-- It's one of the largest data breaches in history.

Yahoo confirmed Thursday a hack in which information on 500 million user accounts was stolen. The hack happened in 2014.

In a statement, Yahoo said user information, things like including names, email addresses, birth dates, phone numbers, passwords and even security questions was compromised in 2014 by what it's calling a “state-sponsored actor.” The country Yahoo believes was involved wasn't named. What the breach may not have included was unprotected passwords, payment card data or bank account information, the company said.

Yahoo said it's working with law enforcement officials.

If you're a Yahoo user, you should review your online accounts for suspicious activity and to watch out for suspicious emails.

The date breach could potentially affect all Yahoo properties including Mail, Messenger, Flickr, Tumblr and Rivals.com.

Word of the breach had been bubbling under for the past couple of months. In August, a hacker named “Peace” appeared in online forums, offering to sell 200 million of the company’s usernames and passwords for about $1,900. Peace had previously sold data taken from breaches at Myspace and LinkedIn Corp. A Yahoo spokesman said at the time that the company was aware of the claim and was “working to determine the facts.”

The news of the breach comes as Verizon Wireless gets ready to close on its $4.83 billion purchase of Yahoo's web assets. A spokesperson for Verizon said the company was made aware of the breach within the last two days.

“We will evaluate as the investigation continues through the lens of overall Verizon interests, including consumers, customers, shareholders and related communities,” Verizon said.