Finance

Congress grills former Equifax, Yahoo CEOs over identity data breaches

Congress grills former Equifax, Yahoo CEOs over identity data breaches

That means the perpetrators had three years to dive into Yahoo user accounts, and to any other internet accounts registered with the same usernames and passwords.

"Unfortunately, while all our measures helped Yahoo successfully defend against the barrage of attacks by both private and state-sponsored hackers, Russian agents intruded on our systems and stole our users' data", she said.

She told lawmakers that the threat from state-sponsored hackers has changed the playing field so dramatically that even the best-defended companies can fall victim. A Mayer spokesperson said Tuesday she was appearing voluntarily.

Marissa Mayer Testifies on the Challenges of Halting State-Backed Persistent AttacksEric Chabrow (GovInfoSecurity) • November 8, 2017 Former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer testifies before a Senate panel on Wednesday. Thune also pressed Equifax's former CEO Richard Smith and interim CEO Paulino Barros on Equifax's known security vulnerabilities that led to its recent data breach and how the company is now addressing these issues.

Mayer joined former and current CEOs of Equifax in testifying before the committee examining recent data breaches.

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Barros mentioned that Equifax is working on an application that would let customers lock and unlock personal credit data. But she also said the U.S. government has to do more to empower law enforcement to pursue and stop hackers, especially the state-sponsored kind.

Thune told reporters after the hearing the Equifax data breach had created "additional momentum" for Congress to approve legislation.

In an opening statement to the Senate Commerce Committee, Mayer apologized to Yahoo's users, blamed "Russian agents" for the breach and said that Yahoo quickly worked to protect user accounts and contact law enforcement. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) said, "but when".

Some of the most pointed questioning came from Thune when he asked Mayer how the company for so long failed to recognize that data for all 3 billion of its user accounts were compromised.

Nevertheless, Yahoo still does not fully understand "how the act was perpetrated", Mayer admitted.

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