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Yahoo Mail Debuts New Mobile Web Service for iOS and Android Smartphones

Yahoo today announced the launch of a new Yahoo Mail website optimized for mobile devices, allowing users to access their inboxes without having to download an app on their iPhone or Android smartphone (via TechCrunch). On the website for the new mobile web experience, Yahoo says that its users will have access to swipe gestures to easily mark messages as read or delete them completely, organizable folders, auto-suggest email addresses, and customizable themes. According to senior director of product management for Yahoo Mail, Joshua Jacobson, the company built the new mobile web service for users who don't want to download an app that takes up more storage on their device. “We’ve heard loud and clear from users that they’re not always ready to make the big leap to downloading an app that takes up any storage space on their phone,” said Joshua Jacobson, senior director of product management for Yahoo Mail. “People with high-capacity phones may want to save that space for photos or videos, while others with entry-level smartphones may just have limited space from the get-go. Further, some folks share devices or borrow a family member’s to access their email. This is all especially true in developing markets.” The mobile web launch also ties into a new app for Android Go, which touts a smaller download size on the Android software that's tailored for cheaper devices. With the new Yahoo Mail versions, Yahoo is aiming at both storage-concerned users and those in emerging markets where low-cost devices are popular. The company hopes to boost stagnated user

Yahoo Messenger Will Be Discontinued on July 17, 2018 After 20 Years of Service

Yahoo today announced that its Yahoo Messenger service will no longer be supported after July 17, 2018, encompassing the closure of apps for iOS and Android and any web browser clients (via TechCrunch). The service will function normally until then, and after that date users will no longer be able to access their chats and the Messenger service as a whole will be shut down. The company promised that the discontinuation of Yahoo Messenger will not impact a user's Yahoo ID, so it will continue to work for products like Yahoo Mail and Yahoo Fantasy. As for a reason, Yahoo said that it is focusing on "building and introducing new, exciting communications tools" that will be a "better fit" for its customers. We know we have many loyal fans who have used Yahoo Messenger since its beginning as one of the first chat apps of its kind. As the communications landscape continues to change over, we're focusing on building and introducing new, exciting communications tools that better fit consumer needs. "There currently isn't a replacement" for Yahoo Messenger, however, so the company pointed users toward the invite-only group messaging app Yahoo Squirrel. Squirrel is still in the testing phase and allows groups to organize private chats with friends and family members in a style similar to Slack and Discord. Yahoo originally debuted its Yahoo Messenger app on the iOS App Store [Direct Link] in April 2009, giving users the ability to instant message their contacts when away from their computer. In the years since, messaging apps like Apple's iMessage, Facebook Messenger, and

Yahoo Testing Invite-Only Group Messaging App 'Squirrel' on iOS and Android

Yahoo this week began testing a new messaging app on iOS and Android called "Squirrel," aimed at organizing private group chats with friends, family members, and work acquaintances. The app's main feature is that group access is private and people can only be added through invitation links (via TechCrunch). Squirrel looks visually similar to apps like Slack and Discord, offering groups access to a "Main Room," where everyone can meet up and chat, and then there's an option to create side rooms for more specific topics. These can potentially include "Secret Rooms" for chats hidden from the main group and one-on-one threads. Users in all rooms can share photos, documents, or links in chats, as well as create custom reactions. Users can mute rooms they don't have any interest in, and administrators can send "blasts" to all users that flag priority messages. Whenever someone mentions your name, a separate Activity view will accumulate these messages so it's easier to scroll through and get caught up with the conversation. Yahoo originally debuted its Yahoo Messenger app on the iOS App Store [Direct Link] in April 2009, giving users the ability to instant message their contacts when away from their computer. In the years since, messaging apps like Apple's iMessage, Facebook Messenger, and others have surged in popularity and caused users to leave Yahoo's platform for ones more popular among their own friend groups. Today, Yahoo Messenger is #167 on the App Store's most-downloaded Social Networking app list. According to Yahoo parent company Oath, one of the main

Verizon Says All 3 Billion Yahoo Accounts Were Compromised in 2013 Attack

Yahoo's massive data breach that occurred in August of 2013 affected all three billion Yahoo accounts that existed at the time, Yahoo parent company Verizon disclosed today in a statement on Oath.com, the website for the brand that now encompasses both AOL and Yahoo. Previously, Yahoo said the hack affected 1 billion accounts, or a third of all accounts at the time. Verizon now says new intelligence suggests the attack was much larger, compromising all Yahoo accounts in 2013. Subsequent to Yahoo's acquisition by Verizon, and during integration, the company recently obtained new intelligence and now believes, following an investigation with the assistance of outside forensic experts, that all Yahoo user accounts were affected by the August 2013 theft.Information stolen from affected accounts included names, email addresses, telephone numbers, birth dates, hashed passwords, and both encrypted and unencrypted security questions and answers. Clear text passwords, bank account information, and credit/debit card information are not believed to have been accessed in the attack. In a statement, Verizon says the Yahoo team is continuing to take significant steps to enhance security."Verizon is committed to the highest standards of accountability and transparency, and we proactively work to ensure the safety and security of our users and networks in an evolving landscape of online threats," said Chandra McMahon, Chief Information Security Officer, Verizon. "Our investment in Yahoo is allowing that team to continue to take significant steps to enhance their security, as

Judge Rules That Yahoo Data Breach Victims Have Right to Sue Company

Several months after Yahoo warned users of a third data breach that occurred between 2015 and 2016, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California has said that breach victims now have the right to sue the company, allowing them to pursue breach of contract and unfair competition claims (via Reuters). Previously, Yahoo argued that these individuals lacked grounds to sue the company, but Koh has now rejected that claim. This leaves "well over 1 billion users" open to sue the company, all of whom were affected by one of three total data breaches that began to gain notoriety in September 2016, when the company disclosed that "at least" 500 million Yahoo accounts were compromised in a late 2014 cyber attack. A second attack was disclosed in December 2016, regarding a user information leak that happened in August 2013, and then the third and presumably last warning about a previous attack came in February 2017. This outlined a period of data breaches that began in 2013 and lasted until 2016, with Yahoo waiting more than three years to reveal information about any of the attacks. Breached info related to names, email addresses, telephone numbers, birth dates, hashed passwords, and both encrypted and unencrypted security questions and answers. Because each affected user now faces the risk of identity theft, Koh ruled in a 93-page decision that plaintiffs can now amend previously dismissed complaints to gain new legal ground against Yahoo. “All plaintiffs have alleged a risk of future identity theft, in addition to loss of value of their personal identification

Yahoo Warns Users of Third Data Breach As Verizon Closes in on Revised Deal

Yahoo has issued a new warning to account holders about malicious hacks linked to a third data breach that the company disclosed late last year. The warning relates to more recent malicious activity targeting accounts between 2015 and 2016, most likely perpetrated by a "state actor", according to Yahoo. Specifically, the hacks are said to have been achieved by using "forged" cookies – the text-based keys that give web users access to username and password information without having to re-enter it – created by software stolen from within Yahoo's internal systems. A message was sent to affected Yahoo users on Wednesday, warning them of the unauthorized access to their account, but Yahoo did not reveal how many people were notified. Hopefully the cookie was forged by a state known for such delicacies. #yahoo #security #baking pic.twitter.com/7gCeEd3Y51— Joshua B. Plotkin (@jplotkin) February 15, 2017 Yahoo's announcement came just hours after reports that Verizon was close to a renegotiated deal to buy Yahoo's core assets at a lower price. Last year, Verizon agreed to buy Yahoo’s core business for $4.83 billion, but on Wednesday Bloomberg reported that the renegotiated deal would slash about $250 million off that price because of the security breaches that were revealed after the initial deal was agreed.  "As we have previously disclosed, our outside forensic experts have been investigating the creation of forged cookies that could have enabled an intruder to access our users' accounts without a password," a Yahoo spokesperson told Associated Press. "The

Yahoo Under SEC Investigation for Not Disclosing Massive Data Breach Sooner

Yahoo is under investigation from the Securities and Exchange Commission over its failure to disclose its massive data breaches sooner, according to The Wall Street Journal. In September 2016, the internet company revealed that an unidentified hacker had stolen the personal data of "at least" 500 million users. Then last month, the internet company admitted that over one billion Yahoo user accounts had been compromised in a hack dating back to August 2013. Information stolen included names, email addresses, phone numbers, birth dates, hashed passwords, security questions and answers. According to today's report, the SEC is investigating why Yahoo waited years before disclosing the massive data breach, despite the fact that some staff had known about the incident since at least 2014. The SEC has requested documents from Yahoo relating to the hacks in order to decide whether the internet giant could have reported the breach to investors sooner. Yahoo is currently negotiating a takeover bid by Verizon, who is reportedly seeking a $1 billion discount off an original $4.8 billion buyout agreement because of the hacking revelations. It's unclear what impact the SEC investigation will have on the deal, but Yahoo's share price had already fallen following the

Yahoo Discloses Second Major Hack, More Than 1 Billion Accounts Compromised

Yahoo today announced that it believes more than one billion Yahoo user accounts were compromised in a hack by an unauthorized third party in August of 2013. Information stolen from affected accounts includes names, email addresses, telephone numbers, birth dates, hashed passwords, and both encrypted and unencrypted security questions and answers. Clear text passwords, bank account information, and credit/debit card information were not believed to be accessed in the attack. According to Yahoo, the hack was discovered after law enforcement officials provided the company with what appeared to be Yahoo user data from an unknown source. Yahoo says it has not been able to identify the specific intrusion, but it is "likely" distinct from a late 2014 hack that compromised more than 500 million Yahoo user accounts. Earlier this year, Yahoo confirmed that "at least" 500 million user accounts were accessed in September of 2014, and this marks a second attack during the same general timeframe. Yahoo is notifying users who may have been affected by the attack, and says it has "taken steps" to secure their accounts by implementing mandatory password changes. Unencrypted security questions and answers have also been invalidated. Along with the 2013 hack compromising 1 billion user accounts, Yahoo has also announced that an ongoing outside investigation suggests an unauthorized third party accessed proprietary code to forge cookies, a technique that may have been used by the hackers responsible for the September 2014 attack. Those account holders are also being

New Filing Confirms Yahoo Was Aware of Large-Scale Email Hack in 2014

In September, Yahoo confirmed that at least 500 million of its users' accounts had been compromised during an attack in late 2014. Now, in a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, it was revealed that the company knew about the hack when it originally happened in 2014, but waited two years to divulge it to the public (via TechCrunch) Describing the investigation, the new SEC filing notes a "state-sponsored actor" who gained access to the company's network in late 2014, along with Yahoo's awareness and identification of the individual in question during the same time period. Information stolen included names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords, and encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers. In late July 2016, a hacker claimed to have obtained certain Yahoo user data. After investigating this claim with the assistance of an outside forensic expert, the Company could not substantiate the hacker’s claim. Following this investigation, the Company intensified an ongoing broader review of the Company’s network and data security, including a review of prior access to the Company’s network by a state-sponsored actor that the Company had identified in late 2014. Based on further investigation with an outside forensic expert, the Company disclosed the Security Incident on September 22, 2016, and began notifying potentially affected users, regulators, and other stakeholders. Now a board made up of independent counsel and a forensic expert is said to be investigating "the scope of knowledge within the company in

Yahoo Mail Users Trying to Leave Service Faced With 'Temporarily Disabled' Email Forwarding [Update: Re-enabled]

In the midst of stories surrounding the hacking of at least 500 million Yahoo user accounts and the secretive scanning of private emails at the behest of the government, Yahoo Mail users are now finding it difficult to leave the service after the company "temporarily disabled" email forwarding earlier in the month. According to several users speaking to The Associated Press, the ability to more easily leave Yahoo Mail with the email forwarding feature -- which ensures old email is sent to a new account -- has been removed completely. Jason Danner, owner of an information technology business in Auckland, New Zealand, said it is all "extremely suspicious timing" for Yahoo to get rid of the feature amid news that undoubtedly has many of its users interested in setting up accounts on other services. Without providing a comment, Yahoo referred to a line on the company's help site to explain its action of "temporarily" removing the feature "while we work to improve it." Anyone who has already set up email forwarding prior to the change won't be affected. This feature is under development. While we work to improve it, we’ve temporarily disabled the ability to turn on Mail Forwarding for new forwarding addresses. If you’ve already enabled Mail Forwarding in the past, your email will continue to forward to the address you previously configured. Several people speaking with The Associated Press said that recent news surrounding Yahoo was causing them to consider leaving Yahoo Mail. One user said a "certain amount" of government surveillance is expected to be going on at most

Yahoo Adapted Email-Scanning Spam Filter to Satisfy 'Secret Court Order' Related to Terrorist Hunt

Following a report yesterday that cited three former Yahoo employees who claimed the company built a program to scan every customer's email for specific information at the order of the United States government, new pieces of information have surfaced in a separate article from The New York Times. Specifically, anonymous sources close to the matter said that Yahoo built the program by adapting a filter meant to scan email inboxes for child pornography, malware, and basic spam content. Yahoo was said to have done this in order to "satisfy a secret court order," created to require the company to search for content containing a specific computer signature related to online communications of an unspecified state-sponsored terrorist group. Two of the anonymous sources -- referred to as "government officials" -- mentioned the Justice Department received the order from a judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court sometime last year, an order that Yahoo was "barred from disclosing" to the public. Through its modifications to the spam filter program, Yahoo complied with the Justice Department's order and made available any email that contained the signature, but as of now that collection method "is no longer taking place." The order was described as "unusual" because it required the scanning of individual emails instead of user accounts as a whole, and was allegedly only given to Yahoo as other tech companies, including Apple, have said they never encountered such a demand. In response to a request for comment, an Apple spokesperson told BuzzFeed News, “We have

Yahoo Secretly Scanned Millions of Customer Emails for U.S. Authorities [Updated]

Yahoo secretly built a custom software program to search all of its customers' incoming emails for specific information at the behest of U.S. intelligence authorities, according to people familiar with the matter. Reuters spoke to three former Yahoo employees who revealed the existence of the custom code, apparently written in compliance with a classified U.S. government demand. The program scanned hundreds of millions of Yahoo Mail accounts for the NSA or FBI, said the former employees and a fourth person with knowledge of the events. Surveillance experts say the revelation represents the first case to surface of a U.S. internet company agreeing to an intelligence agency's request by searching all arriving messages, as opposed to examining stored messages or scanning a small number of accounts in real time. According to two former employees, Yahoo Chief Executive Marissa Mayer's decision to obey the directive did not sit well with some senior executives and led to the June 2015 departure of Chief Information Security Officer Alex Stamos. Stamos now holds the top security job at Facebook, which incidentally just completed the rollout of end-to-end encrypted privacy features for its hugely popular Messenger app. "Yahoo is a law abiding company, and complies with the laws of the United States," the company told Reuters in response to the claims, but stopped short of denying them. It declined any further comment. The NSA referred questions to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which also declined to comment. According to Andrew Crocker, an

'Yahoo Newsroom' App Launches With Curated Stories, Social Features, and More

Yahoo today announced the rebranding of its core mobile app to "Yahoo Newsroom," where users can engage in conversations and social interactions about news relevant to their interests. The app makes it easy to discover new and breaking stories through a range of topics the company is referring to as "Vibes." Yahoo describes each Vibe as a "forum where you read, react, and debate topics that you care about." With every Vibe followed, the app's newsfeed "will adjust to include the stories and conversations that matter most to you," and the more the app is used, more user-specific content will appear for each person. Users can also post articles into various Vibes, along with their opinion on the subject, so other users can comment and begin a discussion. What’s exciting about this experience is that it empowers our community of hundreds of millions of global users to participate in and help shape the conversation. You can now post articles from around the web – with your reactions – directly into specific “Vibes” to spark a discussion. Yahoo’s personalization technology ensures that people who share your interests will see your posts and be prompted to join the conversation. The company hopes that Yahoo Newsroom encourages users to participate in discussions on a wide range of topics while being "free from social pressure" that might be present in other communities. Yahoo says its new app is specifically aimed at exploring the Vibes curated for you with "people that share your interests, not 'friends' on social media." Those interested can check out Yahoo Newsroom

At Least 500 Million Yahoo Accounts Hacked in Late 2014

Yahoo today confirmed that "at least" 500 million Yahoo accounts were compromised in an attack in late 2014, leaking customer information like names, email addresses, telephone numbers, birthdates, hashed passwords, and both encrypted and unencrypted security questions and answers. Yahoo does not believe unprotected passwords, payment card data, or bank account information was accessed, as that data is not stored in the system that was hacked. According to Yahoo, account information was stolen by a "state-sponsored actor" and the company is working with law enforcement on a full investigation. Starting today, Yahoo will notify all affected users and is asking them to change their passwords immediately if passwords have not been changed since 2014. All compromised security questions and answers have also been invalidated. Yahoo has laid out a set of recommendations for all customers who might have had data stolen:-Change your password and security questions and answers for any other accounts on which you used the same or similar information used for your Yahoo account. - Review your accounts for suspicious activity. - Be cautious of any unsolicited communications that ask for your personal information or refer you to a web page asking for personal information. - Avoid clicking on links or downloading attachments from suspicious emails. - Additionally, please consider using Yahoo Account Key, a simple authentication tool that eliminates the need to use a password altogether.Yahoo first said it was investigating a data breach earlier this summer after hackers

'Yahoo View' App Debuts With Hulu Content Amid 'Massive Data Breach' of Yahoo Services

Earlier in August, Hulu announced that the company would be moving to a subscription-only model, gradually phasing out its free tier -- which let users watch the most recent episodes of shows after they aired live on TV -- over the subsequent weeks. Thanks to a partnership with Yahoo, Hulu's free service continues in a website and, recently launched by the company, a free iOS app called "Yahoo View." The mobile app appears to be a noticeably tampered-down experience, however. According to TechCrunch, "due to streaming rights" the app only has short clips and trailers from well-known shows, late-night comedy, sports, and news programs, but it doesn't let users watch full-length TV episodes of anything besides certain anime series. The website version does offer full episodes, but users have to wait eight days after each episode originally airs live on TV for it to appear on Yahoo View. Featuring Hulu content, the Yahoo View app brings you thousands of clips on-the-go and lets you be the first to see the hottest videos. Watch the latest must-see clips in comedy, late night talk shows, celebrity & entertainment, news and movie trailers. Don’t miss a single moment from your favorite TV shows like The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Dancing With The Stars, The Voice, Law & Order: SVU, New Girl, Black-ish, Modern Family, Empire, Grey’s Anatomy and many more. The website version of Yahoo View also includes a "Beyond the Episode" feature that lets users navigate GIFs, previews, clips, and spoiler discussions for the episode they just watched, all content integrated with

Hulu Goes Exclusively Subscription-Based as Free Streaming Moves to 'Yahoo View'

Hulu today announced that the company is ending the free, ad-supported tier of its streaming service and focusing on an all-subscription model that will more closely align it to rivals Netflix and Amazon Prime (via Variety). Hulu's free service -- which let users watch the most recent episodes of shows after they aired live on TV -- will still continue, but is being transitioned to a new platform called "Yahoo View," thanks to a distribution partnership between Hulu and Yahoo. In the free-to-use site Yahoo View, users will be able to watch the five most-recent episodes of shows from networks like ABC, Fox, and NBC, but will now have to wait eight days after they originally air. Yahoo View will also provide clips previewing upcoming episodes and entire seasons of anime and Korean drama series. Users can expect Hulu's free service to be phased out "over the next few weeks." Hulu senior vice president Ben Smith said that the main reason behind the move was that the company's free service "became very limited and no longer aligned with the Hulu experience or content strategy." With the elimination of the ad-supported tier, users will have just two options to watch Hulu: its basic $7.99 per month service with commercials, or a higher-tier $11.99 per month option without commercials. “For the past couple years, we’ve been focused on building a subscription service that provides the deepest, most personalized content experience possible to our viewers,” Hulu senior VP and head of experience Ben Smith said in a statement. “As we have continued to enhance that

New Yahoo Mail App Launches With Design Overhaul, Smarter Searches and Multiple Inboxes

With the 18th anniversary of Yahoo Mail hitting this month, the company today launched an all-new mail client for its popular service, debuting on both iOS and Android platforms. Most notably, the new Yahoo Mail app will let users combine accounts from services like Outlook, AOL Mail, and Hotmail all under the same roof, which even extends to the Yahoo Mail experience on the desktop. "Email is the most prevalent way people communicate online. However, what we want from our inbox is evolving. Mobile use requires a faster and smarter inbox," said Jeff Bonforte, senior vice president of communication products at Yahoo. "Both of these needs are at the center of our new app." The new app also introduces a new concept in password keeping, called the Yahoo Account Key, which the company describes as "a more secure and simple alternative to the old password." Not much detail was given specifically to the way it functions, but Yahoo said it should simplify the sign-in process for Yahoo Mail thanks to the use of push notifications to grant users access to the secure content located within the app. The new Yahoo Mail app is available to download from the App Store for free right now [Direct Link]. Yahoo notes that the the desktop version of the overhauled Yahoo Mail is strictly aimed at United States users at launch and will be "coming soon" in other territories. The company encourages those interested in more information regarding its mail client to visit the Tumblr page devoted to the launch of the new

Job Listings Spark Speculation of Unlikely Full-Fledged Apple Search Engine

Apple on Monday posted a listing to its Jobs at Apple page describing an Engineering Project Manager position for "Apple Search," sparking speculation the company could be working on a full-fledged search engine for use on OS X and iOS platforms. As first highlighted by Cult of Mac, the most recent position would be based in San Francisco and asks for applicants who are "technical, driven and creative," with the ability to "manage back end operations projects for a search platform supporting hundreds of millions of users." Though Apple's website lists the job as posted February 2, 2015, entries on other job sites indicate it was originally posted on November 19, 2014. Though the wording appears to hint at a new service, in all likelihood the job's parameters are covering Apple's already-existing search platform, largely embodied in Spotlight. Another job, posted in mid-January, supports the Spotlight probability thanks to frequent mentions of the updated Spotlight Suggestions service. While gaining attention thanks to the use of the term "Apple Search," the new listings are less likely to be aimed at an entirely new Apple-based search engine and more likely cover ongoing efforts to improve Spotlight. Job listings have in the past hinted at the company's work on upcoming projects, but most of the time - as with patents - they are more of an intriguing tease into what may or may not be going on behind the scenes. Apple is facing some search engine decisions this year, however, with Google's search engine contract with Apple reportedly set to expire in 2015.

Marissa Mayer Says Yahoo Would 'Welcome the Opportunity' to Become Default Safari Search Engine

Yahoo chief executive Marissa Mayer, during the company's quarterly earnings call on Tuesday, expressed interest in Yahoo becoming the default search engine in Safari. Mayer recognized the significance that getting Yahoo in front of Mac, iPhone and iPad could have for the search engine, referring to Apple's default web browser as "one of the premier search deals in the world if not the premier search deal in the world.""The Safari platform is basically one of the premier search deals in the world if not the premier search deal in the world," Mayer told RBC Capital Markets analyst Mark Mahaney. "We're definitely in the search distribution business. I think that we've stated that really clearly in the past and I think with Mozilla and also in addition we brought Amazon eBay on board with smaller distribution partnerships in Q4."Google renewed its search partnership with Apple in 2010, although the contract is reportedly set to expire in 2015 and, supported by the fact that Google Maps and YouTube are no longer stock iOS apps, Apple is speculated to be considering a number of options. Back in November, it was reported that both ">Microsoft and Yahoo were courting Apple to become the default search engine in Safari."We're in the search distribution business and anyone who is in that business needs to be interested in the Safari deal. The Safari users are among the most engaged and lucrative users in the world and it's something we would really like to be able to provide. We've worked really closely with Mozilla to ultimately bring to their users an experience that they