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Yahoo says 500 million accounts stolen

Timeline: The rise and fall of Yahoo
Timeline: The rise and fall of Yahoo

Yahoo’s drama as an independent company may not be done yet.

Yahoo(YHOO, Tech30) is expected to confirm this week that hundreds of millions of user accounts have been breached in a hack, according to a report from Re/code, citing sources close to the situation.

A large-scale data breach was first rumored in August when a hacker who goes by the name of “Peace” claimed to be selling data from 200 million Yahoo users online. The Yahoo accounts are said to be from those who used the service around 2012.

The same hacker has previously claimed to sell stolen accounts from LinkedIn(LNKD, Tech30) and MySpace.

Yahoo originally said it was “aware of a claim” and was investigating the situation. Nearly two months later, Yahoo may finally offer an answer.

Related: Why Marissa Mayer couldn’t save Yahoo

yahoo hack

“It’s as bad as that,” one source told Re/code, referring to the earlier report of the hacker nabbing 200 million user accounts. “Worse, really.”

Yahoo did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The data breach, if confirmed, comes at a sensitive time for Yahoo.

Verizon(VZ, Tech30) agreed to buy Yahoo’s core properties for $4.83 billion in late July, just days before the hack was first reported. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2017.

A mega-breach could create a headache for both companies just as they’re working to close the deal and figure out the future of Yahoo.

CNNMoney (New York) First published September 22, 2016: 10:38 AM ET

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