Former CEO of Yahoo testifies before Congress

by Ben Pena November 9, 2017, 0:20
Former CEO of Yahoo testifies before Congress

Yahoo and Equifax are going to need a lot of sorry cards.

Sen. Jerry Moran, a Republican from Kansas, pressed the Yahoo and Equifax executives on whether consumers can expect their data to be safer today in the wake of the breaches.

The breach of credit reporting company Equifax was reported in September and involved the theft of the personal information of 145.5 million consumers.

Special Agent Jack Bennett of the FBI's San Francisco Division said in March the 2013 breach was unrelated and that an investigation of the larger incident was continuing.

"Four times more", replied Equifax Interim CEO Paulino do Rego Barros Jr.

Verizon acquired most of Yahoo's assets in June, the same month Mayer stepped down.

"Even robust defenses and processes are not sufficient to protect against a state sponsored attack", she responded.

"As CEO, these thefts occurred during my tenure and I want to sincerely apologize to each and every one of our users", Mayer said in opening remarks at the Senate hearing.

Although Mayer testified that the 2014 breach was state-sponsored, Yahoo still hasn't concluded who was responsible for the 2013 hack.

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"I think really aggressive pursuit of the hacking is important", she said.

He also said the company is on schedule to release a computer app in January that will allow consumers to lock and unlock their credit data.

"We did not meet the public's expectations, and now it's up to us to prove that we can regain their trust", Barros said.

Yahoo required users to change passwords and took new steps to make data more secure, Mayer said.

Senators questioning the CEOs were not optimistic about future security breaches.

"We describe this as arms race, hackers become ever more sophisticated and we have to become sophisticated in turn", Mayer said. The company's new CEO said he's unsure if its data has been encrypted since the breach.

Yahoo and USA federal agents have blamed a separate 2014 company data breach involving 500 million accounts on Russian state-sponsored hackers. The company's website received 420 million visits, but only 30 million people have actually used it. Richard Blumenthal of CT says enforcing punishments for data breaches on executives like Mayer could motivate companies to protect users' data.

"Under current law, even some of the most egregious examples of lax security can be met only with apologies and promises to do better next time, not fines or other penalties or real deterrents", Sen.


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