Former Yahoo CEO apologises for data breach, blames Russians

09 November, 2017, 01:25 | Author: Franklin Nunez
  • Marissa Mayer

Former Yahoo Chief Executive Marissa Mayer and ousted Equifax CEO Richard Sherman appeared before Congress on Wednesday, offering explanations and apologies for how billions of user accounts and identities were disseminated through hacks at their companies.

In the end, she said "Russian agents intruded on our systems and stole our users" data'. Six months earlier, Yahoo was targeted for the second time in four years in an attack that compromised more than 3 billion email accounts.

Verizon, the largest USA wireless operator, acquired most of Yahoo Inc's assets in June, the same month Mayer stepped down.

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But details over who pulled off the more serious 2013 hack continue to elude Yahoo, Mayer said during Wednesday's hearing, which was focused on protecting consumers from future data breaches.

In March, federal prosecutors charged two Russian intelligence agents and two hackers with masterminding the 2014 theft of 500 million Yahoo accounts, the first time the USA government has criminally charged Russian spies for cyber crimes.

"Yahoo worked closely with law enforcement, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who were ultimately able to identify and expose the hackers responsible for the attacks", she said. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., asked all of those testifying, including the interim and former CEOs of Equifax, Paulino de Rego Barros Jr. and Richard Smith, as well as Entrust Datacard CEO Todd Wilkinson, if they took issue with Nelson's contention that a "mere company" can not withstand persistent attacks from state-backed hackers without the help of the National Security Agency.

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Mayer told the committee that Yahoo fell victim to the breaches despite devoting substantial resources to security in an attempt to stay ahead of sophisticated and constantly evolving threats.

"Massive data breaches have touched the vast majority of American consumers", said Thune.

'We don't exactly understand how the act was perpetrated, ' which explains why there are some gaps in information, she said. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) said, "but when". Richard Blumenthal of CT says enforcing punishments for data breaches on executives like Mayer could motivate companies to protect users' data.

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