Yahoo hack: These are the biggest data breaches of all time

Emma Haslett
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The hack is the largest in history (Source: Getty)

An announcement by Yahoo last night revealed as many as 1bn of its users' data may have been compromised in the biggest hack of all time.

The breach is even bigger than Yahoo's previous hack, when the details of 500m accounts were stolen - at the time, that was the biggest hack in history.

This chart, put together for City A.M. by Statista, shows the largest hacks ever, and when they were revealed.

What actually happened?

Yahoo announced last night it had discovered more than 1bn accounts were hacked back in August 2013.

Details including names, email addresses, dates of birth, passwords and phone numbers were stolen, although card details and bank account information were safe.

The company added it was worried about so-called forged cookies, which hackers used to access user accounts by the back door, bypassing password verification.

Experts have pointed out the hack could affect Verizon's $4.8bn acquisition of Yahoo, currently underway.

"In October, Verizon’s general counsel told reporters that it was reasonable that the first breach may be a material change to the plans for the $4.8bn acquisition," said Ashley Winton, chairman of the UK data protection forum and of law firm Paul Hastings.

"It has become clear that good cyber security due diligence is now an essential step for M&A or private equity activity, especially if you are the acquirer or investor seeking a discount.”

Read more: Yahoo hack: What to do if you're affected (and how to find out if you are)

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