Photo: slight clutter on flickr
We heard from a Yahoo Voices contributor, one of the more than 400,000 people whose accounts were exposed by Yahoo’s lax security.”Quite frankly, many of us are afraid,” she told us. “Our real names are out there for all to see. Our emails, our passwords.”
Her online life has become a nightmare, she told us.
“My account was one of the ones that was presented in the hack,” she wrote. “Since the file went live, there has been several different attempts to hack my Google AdSense account and my PayPal account. Google actually shut down my account until I provided valid proof via telephone and all of my information was changed.
(We verified her status as a Yahoo Voices contribution and examined her Facebook profile, but we’re obviously not identifying her—she has enough problems with her identity these days.)
Yahoo Voices contributors are freelance writers whom Yahoo pays for articles. They often write on topics of narrow, specific interest—in particular, local news.
And for those small-town muckrackers who write for Yahoo, the exposure of their identities is particularly perilous, our source told us.
“I write through [a] pen name … because I write about local matters that cause a stir,” she told us. “I live in a small town, so it is easy for someone to associate names. At least with a pen name, I am safe from my neighbours.”
Yahoo made no effort to communicate with her or other contributors, our source said, save to send the same statement it sent to the press acknowledging the hack.
“All of us are very frustrated that they did not take security seriously,” our source said. “Many of us are afraid that there were more files that were not encrypted. If they did not protect our passwords, did they protect our tax information or our Social Security numbers that are saved in their servers?”
In its statement, Yahoo said it was taking steps to secure its servers. It has not yet said that the vulnerability which led to the hack has been fixed.
A Yahoo spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment on our source’s claims.