YAHOO has confirmed that millions of corny jokes and cartoons are among just some of the material stolen from 3 billion user accounts during a 2013 raid by hackers, tripling its earlier estimate of the largest breach in history.
The news is likely to expand the number and class action lawsuits by shareholders and Yahoo account holders, which was previously estimated at 1 billion users.
Jokes such as ‘Paddy Irishman’ stories depicting neighbouring Scotsmen and Englishmen in barely humourous conundrums were among the top classic jokes stolen by the hackers, with the even more lame single cell cartoons from old newspapers being harvested from pensioner accounts.
“I was going to forward on a forwarded email with racial undertones to my nephew Darren in Australia, but all of them are gone now,” 63-year-old Thelma Holden told WWN, “he never replies to them, but I know he gets a good chuckle from all my old jokes that the girls in bridge forward me.
“Why would they do such a horrible thing, what could they want with such useless information?”
The new disclosure comes just four months after Verizon acquired Yahoo’s core internet assets for $4.48 billion, and is expected to further devalue the company, which has been used by pensioners and rookie internet users the world over since 1997.
“I’ve had my Yahoo account since 1998,” said serial cartoon forwarder Tom Tobin, who still uses a dial up connection, “what am I supposed to do now, move onto some fancy new email provider like Hotmail? I had nearly 20 years of material there”.
It’s unclear who exactly was behind the 2013 break-in, but cybersecurity analysts reported in December that the stolen jokes and cartoons were up for sale on the dark web, a murky network only accessible through certain software that harbours criminals and terrible comedians.