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The Cumulative Effect of Major Breaches: The Collective Risk of Yahoo & Equifax

Until quite recently, people believed that a dizzying one billion accounts were compromised in the 2013 Yahoo! breach… and then it was revealed that the real number is about three billion accounts.

That raises the question: so what? Isn’t all the damage from a four-year-old breach already done?

The answer: not at all. For those who have taken control of the compromised accounts, or who possess confidential information about a billion or more individuals, the Yahoo! breach is the gift that will keep on giving.

First of all, the consequences of the breach are not yet fully realized. Criminals have only recently started using compromised email accounts to spread ransomware and spam. As email service providers increasingly use the age of the sending account as an indicator of risk, the value to criminals of long-established but compromised accounts has started to increase. These accounts become a circumvention strategy for criminals wishing to reliably deliver malicious emails....(continued)

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