Thursday, 18 October, 2018

Ex-Yahoo CEO Sorry for Hacks That Affected All 3 Billion Users

Preston Stone | 09 November, 2017, 00:21

Yahoo, which announced last month that a 2013 breach affected far more customers than previously thought, has doubled its security staff, helping to deflect "a barrage of attacks", Mayer said in remarks to be delivered Wednesday before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.

Yahoo had bumped its estimate of affected accounts from a previous 1B to all of them (3B in total).

In the end, she said "Russian agents intruded on our systems and stole our users" data'.

Verizon bought Yahoo's web assets, including its Yahoo Mail and Yahoo Sports, in June.

Former CEOs of Yahoo and Equifax brought apologies to Capitol Hill as they faced lawmakers with questions about the massive data breaches at their companies and what can be done to protect consumers' personal information. But she also said the USA government has to do more to empower law enforcement to pursue and stop hackers, especially the state-sponsored kind.

And a hack against Yahoo in 2013 affected all of its 3 billion user accounts.

Other witnesses in the hearing included interim CEO of Equifax, Paulino do Rego Barros Jr.as well as former Equifax CEO Richard Smith, in addition to Verizon Communications chief privacy officer Karen Zacharia, Entrust Datacard Corporation president and CEO Todd Wilkinson.

In her remarks, Mayer said companies are effectively in an "arms race" with private hackers and state-sponsored actors as their methods "become more sophisticated".

Mayer apologized for both breaches and said that its hard for companies to fight against state-sponsored attackers who "tend to be more sophisticated, more persistent and who attack more targets.They're very good at hiding their tracks", she said.

Sen. Brian Schatz, a Democrat from Hawaii, called it "unfathomable to the average person" that the CEOs of Yahoo or Equifax could walk away with "possibly a quarter of a billion dollars" despite the data security failures.

Mayer said Yahoo still doesn't know exactly hackers breached all of its users, and isn't sure what flaws it needs to fix.

The current and former chief executives of credit bureau Equifax, which disclosed in September that a data breach affected as many as 145.5 million USA consumers, said they did not know who was responsible for the attack.

There was consensus the industry and government should work together to come up with legislation for national data security and breach. He said Mayer's testimony was "important in shaping our future reactions". Mayer said it's still unclear who is behind the 2013 hack.

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