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Yahoo! Inc. Joins Facebook Inc With Hacker Alerts

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Yahoo! Inc. has followed Facebook Inc in giving alerts to users that are at risk of being the target of foreign hackers.

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Bob Lord, data security chief at Yahoo, said users are being asked to report odd login attempts and change passwords as part of steps to ward off attacks.

“We’re committed to protecting the security and safety of our users. Yahoo will now notify you if we strongly suspect that your account may have been targeted,” Lord wrote in a blog post on Tuesday.

Yahoo Follows Facebook, Twitter

Yahoo’s alert to certain users follows similar measures by Facebook and Twitter Inc . The New York Times reported last month that U.S. State Dept staffers had become the victim of cyber attacks waged over Facebook. The report further said the govt became aware of the breach only after Facebook informed it. Similarly, Twitter began warning users two weeks ago of murky activity on the micro blogging site.

Just like Facebook and Twitter, Yahoo! Inc. also did not comment on how it will locate alleged hacking attempts. The firm said  “rest assured we only send these notifications of suspected attacks…when we have a high degree of confidence.”

Why Hackers Target Yahoo, Facebook?

Experts say that foreign hackers often cannot crack secure networks. Instead try to break into them through the  personal accounts of workers. If a user logs onto a work portal from home, or uses the same password across multiple accounts, hackers use those doors to hit their targets.

The needle pointed to hackers from either China or North Korea in recent high profile breaches, including the one at Sony Pictures.

Tom Kellermann, chief of cyber security at Tokyo-based Trend Micro, told MarketWatch, said that those at high levels in big firms and state roles will likely already be on the radar of hackers.

Another industry veteran, Al Pascual, director of fraud  at Javelin Strategy, however thinks that people in general are not at risk. “You have to be in a specific role for something like this to be likely to occur to you.” He reckons the sectors most likely to be targeted include defense, finance and infrastructure.

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