Yahoo Inc. (YHOO
) is expected to officially admit that millions of user accounts were subject to a data breach by hackers, according to a Re/code report
that cites “several sources close to the situation.”
Reports suggesting a massive hacking first surfaced in August, when Yahoo said it was “aware” of a hacker advertising data from 200 million Yahoo users in 2012. At the time, Yahoo did not confirm or deny
that a data breach actually occurred. The hacker goes by the name of “Peace,” who is the same hacker who claimed to sell account information from LinkedIn and MySpace accounts.
Re/code said its sources considered the hacking “widespread and serious” although they did not specify the extent. They anticipated government investigations and lawsuits related to the breach.
The data breach reports come at a time when Verizon Communications Inc. is in the process of taking over Yahoo’s core assets
Analysts, while not reacting directly to the Re/code report, have been skeptical of YHOO in recent months. Of the three firms issuing reports
on YHOO in the past 30 days, only one has issued a positive rating. Their median price target is $42, representing a 4 percent downside from recent trading prices.
Analysts at SunTrust maintained a “neutral” rating
Sept. 21, with a $42 price target; Robert Baird set a “neutral” rating with a $42 price target; and Oppenheimer maintained an “outperform” rating
while increasing its price target to $55 from $48.