Verizon is expected to move ahead with its acquisition of Yahoo’s core assets even after Yahoo disclosed another massive data breach potentially impacting millions of consumers.
According to a report by Bloomberg, which cited experts, Yahoo isn’t alone in getting hacked, and with the short attention spans of Americans, those breaches, even the massive ones, are soon forgotten. “I tend to not feel like these hacks are that big of a deal in the broader scheme of things,” Michael Mahoney, senior managing director at Falcon Point Capital, told Bloomberg in an interview. “Obviously, they can be damaging. But it doesn’t take too long before people forget about it.”
Infiltrating companies’ computer networks has been a favorite pastime of hackers for years, but recently, the pace and sophistication of the attacks have increased rapidly. The Identity Theft Resource Center, which Bloomberg cited in its report, pegs the number of data breaches in the U.S. at close to 1,000 this year alone, potentially impacting more than 35 million personal records, such as Social Security numbers and bank account information. Many of the companies saw an initial hit to their businesses but only for a short period of time.
Experts told Bloomberg that that will likely be the case with Yahoo, even though the size of the breaches is massive. It doesn’t hurt that the cost of the breaches may not break a company the size of Yahoo. Still, liabilities from the breach are prompting Verizon to reportedly request a lower price from Yahoo to move forward. Larry Ponemon, founder of the Ponemon Institute, told Bloomberg he thinks Yahoo’s costs and loss of opportunity from the breach may be $2–$3 per customer record, resulting in a $1 billion reduction in its sale price. Mahoney of Falcon Point thinks it will be lowered by 5–10 percent.