Former Yahoo CEO apologises for data breaches, blames Russians

Posted November 09, 2017

USA lawmakers will grill current and former executives from Equifax and Yahoo at a hearing today focused on security breaches at their companies that have affected billions of internet users.

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.

The 42-year-old, who testified before the Senate Commerce Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington on Wednesday, said the thefts occurred during her almost five-year tenure and she wants to 'sincerely apologize to each and every one of our users'.

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During the hearing, Thune questioned Yahoo!'s former CEO Marissa Mayer on Yahoo!'s security collapses and its failure to effectively respond to those collapses in a timely matter. Verizon disclosed last month that a 2013 Yahoo data breach affected all 3 billion of its accounts, compared with an estimate of more than 1 billion disclosed in December.

A few minutes later, Sen. The executives remained mute.

Mayer volunteered to testify on data breaches, but only after being subpoenaed.

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

A breach in 2014 affected 500 million Yahoo accounts and, in a first, led to the United States government criminally charging two Russian spies for cyber crimes. Mayer later said under questioning that she did not know if Russians were responsible for the 2013 breach, but earlier spoke of state-sponsored attacks.

U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), chairman of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, will convene a hearing titled "Protecting Consumers in the Era of Major Data Breaches", at approximately 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, November 8, 2017, in room Dirksen 106. Mayer answered that such attacks are complex and persistent and the understanding of the facts behind them evolve over time.

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To this day, she said, security experts have been unable to identify the specific intrusions that led to the breaches: "We don't exactly understand how the act was perpetrated".