When I went to log into my Yahoo Mail account, Yahoo stated that it strongly believed that my account had been compromised. I'm not sure how it happened. My guess is that Yahoo was hacked.

I reset the password and security questions on my Yahoo account. I also reset my Gmail account password.

I looked in the Sent folder and I don't see any spam.

I'm on a Mac.

  1. Is there anything else that I need to do?

  2. I had a lot of personal info in my email. Do I need to worry about identity theft? That's my biggest concern. If the scumbags sent fake Viagra ads from my account, that's not great, but it's not a big deal. Identity theft would be a big pain.

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    I'm going to go out on a limb and say that it is highly unlikely that Yahoo itself was hacked. It was probably your account. May 13, 2011 at 15:24
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    Chances are, if it's your computer that's been compromised, it's not so hackers can send you spam. Instead, they'll use your system to send spam to other people. When you get those viagra emails, it's not from the hacker's computer, it's coming from ordinary people who have no idea they're doing it.
    – Blomkvist
    May 13, 2011 at 15:43
  • Hi Blomqvist, Thank you for your message. That's an interesting point. I ran a virus scan and thankfully, I didn't get any warnings. I hope that I'm not in a bot army! My computer was running slowly yesterday-- not sure if it was due to having lots of programs open or b/c I needed to repair permissions, or some hacker was causing problems. I'm worried about ID theft as I had tax related emails in my account, which I've now disposed of. Any suggestions? Thank you.
    – Laxmidi
    May 13, 2011 at 16:31

1 Answer 1


It is very unlikely that Yahoo was hacked. More likely your account fell victim to cookie theft or something else in that vein. You've already changed your password and security question, and no mail seems to have been sent from the account, so I would not worry about it. You've already done everything you can do.

If you want to be extra safe, you might go over your inbox and check for any financial or otherwise important information you might have in there (bank login info, credit card numbers (unlikely), passwords to other sites, etc.), and take the appropriate precautions with regard to any sensitive information you find.

  • Hi Fopedush, Thank you for the message. Unfortunately, I had a lot of financial stuff in my mail. So, I'm trying to take the appropriate prepcautions. How would Yahoo detect that something was amiss? Also, what is cookie theft? Should I clear out the cookies in my browser? Thank you.
    – Laxmidi
    May 13, 2011 at 15:42
  • If you've already changed your login information, then you don't need to worry about your cookies. I have no way of being sure what happened, but it seems to me that someone most likely managed to get their hands on one of your cookies, and took advantage of the fact that the site was set to leave you logged in. For a full description of how this kind of attack works (and how yahoo might have been able to detect it), have a look at this article: jaspan.com/improved_persistent_login_cookie_best_practice.
    – Fopedush
    May 13, 2011 at 15:52
  • Oh, and Blomkvist makes a good point - the most likely way for this to happen is some manner of malware/spyware resident on your machine. It would probably be a good idea to run a full virus scan as soon as you can.
    – Fopedush
    May 13, 2011 at 15:54
  • Hi Fopedush, Thank you very much for your message and link. The article was interesting. Particularly the part that read, "When the victim next accesses the site his remembered login will not work (because each token can only be used one time) but he's much more likely to think that "something broke" and just log in again than to realize that his credentials were stolen." I noticed something funky while login in yesterday and I just thought that there was a minor glitch. A few minutes ago, I ran a virus scan and nothing came up.
    – Laxmidi
    May 13, 2011 at 16:24
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    Yahoo, and most other major sites like Gmail, Facebook, etc, track the locations of the login. If they see an account that is normally logged into in Normal, IL being logged into from Peking, China, they will flag it as possibly hacked. This is not the only way, but probably one of the more common ways. Using TOR or another random proxy location obscuring service can trigger this sort of security "feature" as the proxy that ends up connecting to the desired site could be anywhere. May 13, 2011 at 16:49

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