Hundreds of Kiwi accounts involved in Yahoo hack

Yahoo didn't say how many people were potentially affected.
RICK WILKING/REUTERS

Yahoo didn't say how many people were potentially affected.

Hundreds of Kiwi accounts are among the victims of a Yahoo data breach, an international cyber security firm says. 

Yahoo is warning users of potentially malicious activity on their accounts between 2015 and 2016.

It's the latest development in the internet company's investigation of a mega- breach that exposed 1 billion users' data several years ago.

InfoArmor marketing vice president Byron Rashed said a quick check revealed "there are several hundred New Zealand email records contained in the database".

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Rashed was not able to provide more details.

It's not clear how many users were affected by the malicious activity, which involved the use of forged cookies - strings of data which can be used to allow people to access online accounts without re-entering their passwords.

Yahoo said in a statement issued on Wednesday that its investigation "has identified user accounts for which we believe forged cookies were taken or used. Yahoo is in the process of notifying all potentially affected account holders".

The company declined to say how many people were potentially affected.

SPARK EMAILS AFFECTED

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Spark started shifting hundreds of thousands of Xtra email accounts managed its partner Yahoo, to a new system run by Kiwi specialist SMX, on Tuesday night. 

But spokeswoman Ellie Cross said an error in a data extraction process meant "a very small number" of people lost access to their email in the lead up to the migration, which it expected to complete by the end of March.

Spark customer Bruce Tie is one of many who have been cut off from email for more than a week. 

Tie said he hadn't been able to send or receive emails, or access past emails, since February 3.

"They have wiped all the email records I had and I still can't use email. They supposedly took it up to their "tier 2' support 10 days ago.

"I've been back to them three times since. Their technical staff who are trying to fix this obviously have no clue what they are doing."

Cross said Spark had been sorting out the "missing accounts". She said late on Wednesday afternoon that Tie was now able to send and receive emails, though it was still working with Yahoo to restore access to his past emails.

The error was unrelated to Spark's decision last month to terminate email support for older software that relies on a type of encryption called RC4.

 - AP

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