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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 9/23/16

Yahoo's 500 Million User Hack, Russia and Your Passwords

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Thoughts about the narrative on the massive hack on Yahoo, and a huge tip on remembering and protecting your passwords

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First, the Yahoo hack happened in 2014. They're just announcing it now.

They're saying it was... well, here's what Yahoo actually says:

"We have confirmed, based on a recent investigation, that a copy of certain user account information was stolen from our network in late 2014 by what we believe is a state-sponsored actor. The account information may have included names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords (the vast majority with bcrypt) and, in some cases, encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers. The ongoing investigation suggests that stolen information did not include unprotected passwords, payment card data, or bank account information; payment card data and bank account information are not stored in the system that the investigation has found to be affected."

It's odd that the news hit big yesterday. It was reported by in early August. They reported:

"On Monday, the hacker known as Peace, who had previously sold dumps of 117 million LinkedIn account details, 65 million Tumblr emails, and 360 million MySpace credentials , listed supposed credentials of Yahoo users on The Real Deal marketplace. The listed accounts --which are believed to be stolen back in 2012 -- contain usernames, passwords, and dates of birth, and appear to be hashed by the md5 algorithm -are up for sale for three Bitcoins i.e. around $1,860."
and, that same article, which included reporting that Yahoo confirmed the hack, added,
"This data is especially useful for phishers who look to monetize through illegitimate ways. If the hacker's claim is real, affected users can expect password reset links to be sent to them at some point."

Thanks for telling us six weeks later, as well as two years later, Yahoo.

Now, about the claim that the hack was by a state-sponsored actor. TV news is reporting that it was Russia. It's interesting timing, with the Clinton and Obama people seemingly creating a new red-scare, red-menace narrative. Maybe that's because Obama and Clinton have supported the nazi, fascist takeover of Ukraine, which Russia opposed. Maybe it's because Russia is actually fighting ISIS/Daesh, while Obama has it's resources directly or indirectly allying with them so as to fight the Assad government. Yahoo's blaming Russia taps the meme Clinton and Obama have promoted. What next? Senate hearings blaming Ed Snowden for the hacks? McCarthyesque hearings? If it wasn't so dangerous to ramp up Russia-phobia it would a hilarious joke. Too bad NSA and other spy agencies have lied to us so many times there's no way we should believe anything they say about Russia.

I logged into Yahoo, which I don't do very often, only to be informed that Yahoo would let me know if my account was hacked. I have not received the email notification they say I'll receive. I'm not worried. I primarily use Yahoo for their Flickr photo saving and sharing site. And, I use a different password for every site. The good thing is, I don't need to write them down. I use a formula to create a password specifically for each site. It's actually easy. Here's an example.

How to create an password algorithm, so you only have to remember one thing for every website, even though each one has a very strong password that's different.

Take the domain name, say, yahoo. Count the letters, in this case, 5.

Take a fixed number that you'll use for each website you create a password for-- like your mother's birth year. Say that was 1940. Take the 40 and subtract 5 from it. That gives us 35.

Then add a character, like a question mark, asterisk or dollar sign. (Not all sites allow them. They have idiot programmers who don't have a clue about programming and security.) Let's go with $.

So far, we have 35$

Next, take the domain name and change some things. Take the first letter or any other letter and make it upper case. Many sites require upper and lower case.


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Rob Kall Social Media Pages: Facebook Page       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Rob Kall is an award winning journalist, inventor, software architect, connector and visionary. His work and his writing have been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, ABC, the HuffingtonPost, Success, Discover and other media. 

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He is the author of The Bottom-up Revolution; Mastering the Emerging World of Connectivity

He's given talks and workshops to Fortune 500 execs and national medical and psychological organizations, and pioneered first-of-their-kind conferences in Positive Psychology, Brain Science and Story. He hosts some of the world's smartest, most interesting and powerful people on his Bottom Up Radio Show, and founded and publishes one of the top Google- ranked progressive news and opinion sites,

more detailed bio: 

Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet (more...)

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