How much more can Yahoo continue to survive its own mistakes?
This morning we learned of the hacking of more than one billion Yahoo accounts . The nightmare for the veteran company, one of the symbols of the Internet for many years and an historical of the online world , never seems to end.
It almost seems like science fiction. To this number must be taken into account that we must add another 500 million accounts that the company acknowledged had been compromised last September. And all when last October revealed that Verizon wanted to pay $ 1 billion less in the purchase of Yahoo. Obviously a catastrophe of these characteristics affects the market value of the company (the company itself recognized), but what will happen now? What position is Yahoo in?
The previous scandal already led them to renegotiate the terms of the purchase when the agreement was almost signed. Yahoo’s lack of clarity when it came to releasing information on these issues was primarily responsible. This is just another error in a chain of failures that could be precipitating the end of the company, in an increasingly abrupt and tragic way.
We have already said at the beginning of the article that this company helped define the Internet in the past. In many ways they helped create the “dot com” boom, with a market value of $ 100 billion at the peak of its popularity. They were the Internet kings of the 1990s of the last century.
There was a time when Yahoo might have bought Google for a million dollars. It was the year 1998. The founders of the Great G, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, offered it on a silver platter for an amount that, seeing the value of the Mountain View company today, it seems ridiculous to look where Look at yourself
It’s a little ironic that Yahoo, which except for its email service and something else, is in a position where it has hardly any presence on the Internet while Google and Alphabet today are worth 500 billion dollars.
When they realized how much Google was growing and the possibilities it had, they tried to repurchase them in 2002 for three billion dollars. The search company asked for five thousand, which Yahoo ended up giving up on their efforts.
In 2006 the story was repeated with one of the kings of the Internet today. Facebook could be owned by Yahoo today, when it discussed the purchase of social network for billions of dollars. The deal, as we all know, did not crystallize. Maybe with a good management we would still have the social giant we know today, although we are talking about Yahoo …
In 2008 the company declined an offer of Microsoft to be acquired by 40,000 million dollars. They said it was an “insufficient amount . ” Given how the thing has ended for Yahoo and the data breaches that have been suffering since 2012, perhaps Microsoft dodged, unknowingly, a poisoned projectile.
And is that if we think coldly, Yahoo is a victim of itself . After making several attempts to reinvent herself after losing relevance with Marissa Mayer as the most proactive CEO in order to achieve it, the company failed at any time to recover even a small part of the popularity that enjoyed the mid-1990s Dosmiles The brand was going through a serious crisis of identity that has never been able to recover.
An identity crisis that led to the death of the company
Last July 25, Verizon ‘s purchase of Yahoo was announced. This contrasts with the scene that occurred in 2006 outside a hotel in the city of San Jose, where the company announced large profits and large revenues .
However, there was a big problem that no one seemed to be able to answer: what exactly does Yahoo do? There are a number of names that we all identify with certain services: Google is to search what eBay is to auctions, Intel is to processors what Microsoft is to Windows. No one could give an accurate answer of what to associate with Yahoo in that hotel ten years ago.
In fact, the old Internet referent has been agonizing slowly for ten years . Many former managers of the company attribute their death to a “succession of bad choices made by executive leadership and the board” during its period of greatest popularity in the middle of the first decade of the twenty-first century.
As harmful as the lost business opportunities we discussed a little above, was to have a bureaucratic business culture focused on traditional advertising. This clashed head-on with the world of technology, where businesses change as fast as the nature of some companies or the products they manufacture.
Apart from this it is necessary to comment that your security has been compromised again and again , revealing an infrastructure defended, at all, as it corresponds to a company of the caliber of Yahoo.
Since 2012 being attacked
The first major security breach that Yahoo faced was the hacking of Yahoo! Voices in 2012 . This attack would have managed to filter half a million email addresses and passwords associated with the company.
It was suspected that the attack was the work of the D33ds group, who would have used an SQL injection attack to get into their servers. Different security analysts discovered that the passwords were not encrypted and that the web did not use the HTTPS protocol.
To this day the file containing the email addresses and passwords can still be downloaded from the Internet. The hacker group described the attack as a “wake-up call” for security experts who, incidentally, earned a fair amount of criticism from security experts.
This attack was not without controversy, mainly because Yahoo was silent and did not reveal details about the data gap. Neither alerted the half million affected users, nor were there any notices on the web, nor did any victims receive any kind of personal message.
The thing would not stay there. As if this attack of 2012 were indicative of the poor security of the company, in 2013 they filtered 22 million Yahoo Japan accounts . On this occasion the company did comment the data of the filtration and the users were warned. Today the Japanese division of the company has a market value much greater than the company’s main business in the United States.
In August of that same 2013, a second attack managed to steal billions of accounts , the hack of which we have toned news very recently. The leak is entirely new, as it has no relation to that which occurred a year later and stole 500 million Yahoo accounts.
The logical conclusion is that hackers have had from two to three years to do whatever they wanted, all this with the tacit silence of the company. What does the company keep silent? What do they want to protect, their increasingly scarce market value? Secure the amount agreed with Verizon for sale? Perhaps they do not realize that with silence all they do is to suffer more.
What does the future hold for Yahoo?
As reported in The Guardian, a lawyer for Verizon, Craig Silliman, he said the gap September had “damaged the value of Yahoo” damage that was reflected in the purchase price when the teleoperadora announced its intention to pay billion less Of dollars as we discussed before.
Now, what about Yahoo now that you have these new data? In total there are a billion and a half of compromised accounts. The image of Yahoo has been further damaged. All the time of silence when it comes to such a big problem does them a very skinny favor, the reasons why they have decided not to reveal anything are beyond our comprehension.
Bruce Shneier, a cryptologist and one of the world’s most respected computer security experts , said the following to Reuters …
Yahoo has crapped it, pretty much. They were not taking their security seriously and that is now very clear. It would be difficult for me to trust them again from now on.
For its part, Verizon said they will review the “impact of this new event before reaching any conclusion.” In other words, the reduction in the purchase price will be much higher than initially expected.
As seen, Yahoo now gives you so much to give yourself. Its market value is going to plummet after these latest revelations. Verizon will surely demand that they virtually hand over the keys without having to give anything (or almost nothing) in return.
Put another way: a sale that is proving so hard and difficult, and that was the only possible salvation that Yahoo could have, could even get canceled. These latest revelations, the September and the one day ago, may be the death sentence of Yahoo. The patient is terminal, the best thing that does not suffer is to end his agony.