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Around 10 years ago, Yahoo! used to have this email program for minors that my mom signed me up for. Since then they have discontinued the system, while I was still a minor. Because of that, I have been unable to access my email for about 5 years, and I stopped caring about the email. But today, I got an email from no-reply@cc.yahoo-inc.com saying

It looks like you haven't signed into 2*****************************b3 for quite some time. Please sign into your account on Yahoo! within the next 60 days if you'd like to keep your account active.

email screenshot

I noticed one main thing:

  • My Yahoo! email wasn't 2*****************************b3

But I still decided to try to get my account back, and resetting my password I got it.

yahoo email broken.png.jpeg

I checked my settings, and all the information from my old email is still there (like my name and a few other small things). So I tried to check my mail to see if it kept anything, but it redirected me to another page with a header of

Add a Yahoo! ID and email address


Upgrade your account by choosing a new Yahoo! ID / email address

Then requires that I set a new email address.

But now I am confused, why is my account name this long string of random characters, and not my old email?

  • Did you try adding your old Yahoo! e-mail address? Try to password reset that. If it doesn't exist, you might be able to re-register it. Either Yahoo! scrambled your ID or it is a representation (hash) of your old Yahoo! ID. – Sun Jun 9 '16 at 16:16
  • @Sun I have tried resetting my old email, as it said the email doesn't exist. I'm guessing it is, like you Saudi a hash of my ID, but my question is why did it all of a sudden email me about this, after 5 years. – Jaketr00 Jun 9 '16 at 16:50
  • This is an old post from Yahoo re: inactive accounts but it just might be a way to clean out old inactive accounts. Yours just happen to be minor account that is being treated differently. Makes you think if Yahoo! could get in trouble for this though... – Sun Jun 9 '16 at 16:53
  • @Sun according to that post (assuming that by 12 months, they mean 365 days exactly, and that the 12 month timeout started the day they uploaded the post), I should have gotten this email on April 13, 2014, not May 20, 2016. I'm guessing it is a glitch of some sort, and for some reason my email account was archived and not deleted. – Jaketr00 Jun 9 '16 at 20:05
  • Maybe the “Upgrade your account by choosing a new yahoo! ID / email address” can let you relink it to the username you originally used? – binki May 13 '17 at 18:17
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> We have confirmed, based on a recent investigation, that a copy of certain user account information was stolen from our network in late 2014 by what we believe is a state-sponsored actor. The account information may have included names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords (the vast majority with bcrypt) and, in some cases, encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers. The ongoing investigation suggests that stolen information did not include unprotected passwords, payment card data, or bank account information; payment card data and bank account information are not stored in the system that the investigation has found to be affected.

Below are FAQs containing details about this issue and steps that users can take to help protect their accounts.

What happened? A recent investigation by Yahoo has confirmed that a copy of certain user account information was stolen from our network in late 2014 by what we believe is a state-sponsored actor. We are working closely with law enforcement authorities and notifying potentially affected users of ways they can further secure their accounts.

Was my account affected? We are notifying potentially affected users by email and posting additional information to our website. Additionally, we are asking potentially affected users to promptly change their passwords and adopt alternate means of account verification.

Is the state-sponsored actor still in Yahoo’s network? The ongoing investigation has found no evidence that the state-sponsored actor is currently in Yahoo’s network.

What information was stolen? The stolen user account information may have included names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords (the vast majority with bcrypt) and, in some cases, encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers. The ongoing investigation suggests that stolen information did not include unprotected passwords, payment card data, or bank account information; payment card data and bank account information are not stored in the system that the investigation has found to be affected.

What is a "hashed password"? Hashing is a one-way mathematical function that converts an original string of data into a seemingly random string of characters. As such, passwords that have been hashed can’t be converted into the original plain text password.

What is "bcrypt"? Bcrypt is a password hashing mechanism that incorporates security features, including salting and multiple rounds of computation, to provide advanced protection against password cracking.

I think I received an email about this issue. How do I know that it is really from Yahoo? Click here to view the content of our notice to affected users. Please note that the email from Yahoo about this issue will display the Yahoo Purple Y icon icon when viewed through the Yahoo website or Yahoo Mail app. Importantly, the email does not ask you to click on any links or contain attachments and does not request your personal information. If the email you received about this issue prompts you to click on a link, download an attachment, or asks you for information, the email was not sent by Yahoo and may be an attempt to steal your personal information. Avoid clicking on links or downloading attachments from such suspicious emails.

What is Yahoo doing to protect my account? We have taken action to protect our users, including:

We are notifying affected users. We are asking affected users to promptly change their passwords and adopt alternate means of account verification. We invalidated unencrypted security questions and answers so that they cannot be used to access an account. We are recommending that all users who haven't changed their passwords since 2014 do so. We continue to enhance our systems that detect and prevent unauthorized access to user accounts. Our investigation into this matter continues. How do I change my password or disable security questions and answers? You can change your Yahoo password or security questions and answers by clicking here.

Is there anything I can do to protect myself? We encourage all of our users to follow these security recommendations:

Change your password and security questions and answers for any other accounts on which you use the same or similar credentials as the ones used for your Yahoo Account. Review your accounts for suspicious activity. Be cautious of any unsolicited communications that ask for your personal information or refer you to a web page asking for personal information. Avoid clicking on links or downloading attachments from suspicious emails. Additionally, please consider using Yahoo’s Account Key, a simple authentication tool that eliminates the need to use a password altogether.

What additional steps can I take to protect my information? Although the affected account information did not include unprotected passwords, payment card data, or bank account information, we encourage you to remain vigilant by reviewing your account statements and monitoring your credit reports. Below is contact information for the three consumer reporting agencies from which you can obtain a credit report.

Equifax Equifax Credit Information Services, Inc. P.O. Box 740241 Atlanta, GA 30374 1-800-525-6285 www.equifax.com Experian Experian Inc. P.O. Box 9554 Allen, TX 75013 1-888-397-3742 www.experian.com TransUnion TransUnion LLC P.O. Box 2000 Chester, PA 19022-2000 1-800-680-7289 www.transunion.com You also may wish to place a “security freeze” (also known as a “credit freeze”) on your credit file. A security freeze is designed to prevent potential creditors from accessing your credit file at the consumer reporting agencies without your consent. There may be fees for placing, lifting, and/or removing a security freeze, which generally range from $5-$20 per action. Unlike a fraud alert, you must place a security freeze on your credit file at each consumer reporting agency individually. For more information on security freezes, you may contact the three nationwide consumer reporting agencies or the FTC as described above. As the instructions for establishing a security freeze differ from state to state, please contact the three nationwide consumer reporting agencies to find out more information.

The consumer reporting agencies may require proper identification prior to honoring your request. For example, you may be asked to provide:

Your full name with middle initial and generation (such as Jr., Sr., II, III) Your Social Security number Your date of birth Addresses where you have lived over the past five years A legible copy of a government-issued identification card (such as a state driver’s license or military ID card) Proof of your current residential address (such as a current utility bill or account statement) Y

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