2014: Yahoo! & the True Cost of a Data Breach


In 2014, one of the original Internet search engines and portals, Yahoo!, was breached by hackers.  The hackers stole account information for approximately 500 million of their users.  While Yahoo! was not a high risk site like a bank or a medical provider, the impact of that massive data theft was immense. 

The National Law Review summarizes the impact in their article, Lessons from the Yahoo Data Breaches (So Far):

  • Internal costs of the breach and investigation were $16 million dollars.  
  • Yahoo! was fined $35 million for filing false statements related to the breach.
  • Market capitalization declined $1.3 billion dollars.
  • Yahoo!s sale price decreased by $350 million dollars.  

Even for websites and services considered low risk, the impact of a data breach or other technology event can be very expensive.