(Bloomberg) -- Yahoo! Inc. said the personal information of at least 500 million users was stolen in an attack on its accounts in 2014, exposing a wide swath of its roughly 1 billion users ahead of Verizon Communications Inc.’s planned acquisition of the web portal’s assets.

The attacker was a “state-sponsored actor,” and stolen information may include names, e-mail addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth, encrypted passwords and, in some cases, un-encrypted security questions and answers, Yahoo said Thursday in a statement.

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