Yahoo faces SEC probe over hack disclosure

The Securities and Exchange Commission began a probe of whether Yahoo data breaches should have been reported sooner, people familiar with the matter said.

Yahoo ($YHOO) on Monday released its fourth quarter earnings results, saying it generated $1.47 billion in revenue and earnings per share of $0.17.

Why did Yahoo take two years to tell the public and its investors about the smaller breach, and three years to admit the larger one?

The tech company announced last year that 500 million users were compromised by that breach but Yahoo waited two years to disclose it.

The Silicon Valley company registered fourth-quarter profits of 25 cents per share on revenue of $1.47 billion, besting the average analyst expectations of 21 cents on revenue of $1.38 billion.

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has opened an investigation, analyzing Yahoo due to multiple Information breaches.

Yahoo said Monday that the closing of a $4.8 billion deal to sell its core internet assets to U.S. telecom titan Verizon has been delayed several months. With the company's recent claims of hackers stealing the data of nearly 500 million users in 2014, there were rumors that Verizon was contemplating backing out of the deal or ask for a $1 billion discount.

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"I'm very pleased with our Q4 results and incredibly proud of the team's execution on our 2016 strategic plan, particularly given the uniquely eventful past year for Yahoo", Mayer said in a statement.

Those breaches have given Verizon executives second and third thoughts, potentially jeopardizing the deal, according to a Bloomberg report.

Yahoo said at the time that analysis has led it to believe the same state-sponsored hackers were involved in the first attack, which was distinct from the later assault.

In a quarterly securities filing in November, Yahoo said it is "cooperating with federal, state and foreign" agencies seeking information on the 2014 data breach.

The internet giant has been grappling with the fallout from a string of recent account breaches which are estimated to have affected more than 1 billion user accounts. A spokesperson for the office declined to comment, as did the SEC.

The breach has had far-reaching consequences for Yahoo, including jeopardizing its planned acquisition by Verizon or at least affecting the price.

Of course there has been some development on the fate of Yahoo: Earlier this month, in an SEC filing, the company revealed Marissa Mayer will be departing from the board - but she'll remain as CEO, for now.

  • Toni Ryan