Former Yahoo CEO apologises for data breach, blames Russians

Violet Tucker
November 9, 2017

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'.

Mayer left her position in January with a $23million severance package along with $186million in stock options after hackers stole information from billions of Yahoo users including names, email addresses, phone numbers, birthdates and security questions and answers.

Mayer told the committee that Yahoo learned of a state-sponsored attack on its system in late 2014, and promptly reported it to law enforcement and notified users who were impacted by the hack. She said "really aggressive" pursuit of hackers was needed to discourage the efforts, and that even the most well-defended companies "could fall victim to these crimes". A Mayer spokesperson said Tuesday she was appearing voluntarily.

While speaking to lawmakers on Wednesday, former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer (above) apologized for Yahoo hacks and claims that no company is immune from them. 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.

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Mayer said Yahoo has not been able to identify how the 2013 intrusion occurred and that the company did not learn of the incident until the US government presented data to Yahoo in November 2016.

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. 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.

Paulino do Rego Barros, Jr. Mayer says Yahoo, which originally said only 1 billion accounts were affected, didn't find out about the hack until it got data from the government in 2016 and still hasn't figured out how it happened, though she says Russian intelligence officers have launched attacks on Yahoo systems.

"We verified that it came from Yahoo, but we don't exactly understand how the act was perpetrated", she told the committee.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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