Published: Thu, November 09, 2017
Global | By Shelia Dennis

Yahoo's Mayer points to Russians in data-breach apology


Bill Nelson, the Florida Democrat and ranking member of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, which held the hearing, said: "That's an admission you are not protected against state actors", prompting the senator to ask what Yahoo is doing about it.

Mayer testified in front of the Senate Commerce Committee Wednesday regarding two massive data breaches at Yahoo.

The picture painted by Equifax officials wasn't much better: Smith said his company chose not to encrypt its database of Social Security numbers, driver's license information and more, because they assumed their systems were secure enough to protect the data.

Yahoo only learned about the hack last November, when U.S. law enforcement presented the company with the stolen information, Mayer said.

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The 2013 breach, which likely occurred in August of that year, stole user account data including names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, and hashed passwords. A Mayer spokesperson said Tuesday she was appearing voluntarily. 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.

Barros mentioned that Equifax is working on an application that would let customers lock and unlock personal credit data.

He said a federal law should replace that patchwork of laws. John Thune, chairman of the committee, said.

Paulino do Rego Barros, Jr. "The threat from state-sponsored attacks has changed the playing field so dramatically that today I believe all companies, even the most well defended ones, could fall victim to these crimes", Mayer says. Sen.

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'Only stiffer enforcement and stringent penalties will help incentivize companies to properly safeguard consumer information and promptly notify them when their data has been compromised, ' Nelson said. While the breach had been previously disclosed, the count of victims is triple Yahoo's December 2016 estimate that 1 billion accounts were compromised (see Yahoo: 3 Billion Accounts Breached in 2013).

She said Yahoo still has not been able to identify the intrusion that led to that theft.

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

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The Congress had announced that it will observe November 8, the day demonetisation was announced previous year as "black day". Had India's economy not been strong no foreign investor would've come here.

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