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(RNN) – Yahoo said more than 500 million user accounts had been accessed in a massive hack of its network traced back to 2014.

The company, making the announcement Thursday, said stolen info may have included stored passwords, names, phone numbers and birthdays.

Yahoo was not clear on whether hackers also took payment data and account information.

The information is valuable to hackers because it can be resold to other cyber criminals. They use it to gain more information since many people use their username and password combination across multiple sites like banks, bill payment systems and retailers.

Officials for the firm based in Sunnyvale, CA, blamed the data breach on a “state-sponsored actor.”

This comes on the heels of a tumultuous year for the internet giant. Plans to cut $400 million in costs led to a February announcement that 15 percent of its 12,000 workers would be laid off.

Yahoo is near completion of a $4.8 billion sale of its internet operations to wireless company Verizon.



Article Courtesy of WOIO Cleveland 19 News

Picture Courtesy of Yahoo! and Getty Images

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