There have been many complaints from Yahoo users over the last month or so about spam emails being sent from their email accounts to people in their contacts list. I’ve personally received dozens of these strange spam emails and I’ve even discovered spam emails being broadcast from my own Yahoo account. So what’s the deal? Well, as you might have guessed, our Yahoo accounts have been compromised by hackers, a nerve wracking situation for most. If you’re a long time Yahoo account holder though, this likely isn’t your first time dealing with this.
Yahoo has become a notoriously insecure provider of email and other web services. As this nice Forbes article has detailed, Yahoo has repeatedly left their email services vulnerable to some pretty basic security exploits and, according to the research provided in that Forbes article, they’ve been fairly lackadaisical in both preventing hacks and plugging the holes when they’re found. As a result, thousands and thousands of Yahoo users have had their accounts hacked at no fault of their own. Yahoo’s support system has plenty of postings about how to deal with the issues, but rather than be forced to spend time fixing my email account every few months, I’d rather just not use their service.
You can likely overcome this most recent hacking incident by just changing your password. My advice though? Drop Yahoo like a bad habit. I couldn’t endorse them with their track record anyway, but even without the constant exploits, I believe that other companies like Outlook.com and especially Gmail.com provide better much email/webmail services. My advice goes for both regular users and businesses, and I’m not the only one coming to this conclusion since even a major telecom is jumping ship. Yahoo has claimed in response to this most recent major exploit that it ”takes protection of its users’ data very seriously”, but I don’t know if I can buy that coming from them. Every other day I still see more complaints from Yahoo customers being hacked in the same way as last months exploit. It simply shouldn’t take so long to fix these security holes or to secure the hacked accounts still spamming the world.
This is a pretty shameful situation for Yahoo. There are so many alternative email providers who haven’t had such a consistently sloppy track record. Yahoo has been around as long as anyone in the internet age. They simply should know better. Get it together, Yahoo.