Yahoo / Xtra Email Hack & Changeover

The logins and personal information of over 500 million Yahoo users have been hacked and stolen.

Yahoo has been the email provider for Xtra customers (though this is changing soon). It is believed that around 130,000 Xtra email accounts are affected this time. In 2013 400,000 accounts were hacked.

According to Yahoo, the data may include

email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth and hashed passwords – but not credit card or bank account information, it said.

The main danger to users is that passwords and personal information may be sold.

Many people have the same logins for all their accounts. So there is a good chance that a hacker will have success logging in at random to various banks and other accounts of some people by using the stolen email login and passwords.

If you are an Xtra customer we recommend updating all of your passwords. Do not use the same passwords for all of your accounts.

Watch for emails from Xtra about what else you may need to do but make sure you think the email is legitimate before you act – there could be people sending phishing emails which ask you login somewhere to update details. Beware of these.

New Zealand-based company SMX will be the new manager of Spark’s (Xtra) email services from early next year.

There are some things that you may need to do to retain old emails etc. See this Stuff article or contact Spark if unsure about this changeover.

For more info on the hacking see http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11715301