gpolit.com
gpolit.com November 21, 2017


Congress grills former Equifax, Yahoo CEOs over identity data breaches

09 November 2017, 12:54 | Kenneth Drake

Former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer Matt Winkelmeyer Getty Images for Glamour

Former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer    
   Matt Winkelmeyer  Getty Images for Glamour

"These thefts occurred during my tenure, and I want to sincerely apologize to each and every one of our users", Mayer said, according to CNet.

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.

Mayer opened her testimony with an apology, pointing out that Yahoo had been hit by a sophisticated attack from Russian hackers, one that even the best security could not have stopped.

Yahoo only learned about the hack last November, when United States law enforcement presented the company with the stolen information, Mayer said. Because of the information contained in the field, Mayer said the company was confident that the breach occurred in 2013. 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.

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.

Barros told the committee he has focused on improving customer service and revising the company's structure so that the company's chief security officer reports directly to him. The government is weighing whether to impose tougher standards on companies, such as requirements for notifying consumers after a breach. Equifax's CEO said the same of a breach involving 145 mln consumers.

They say new laws may be necessary amid rising cyber attacks that threaten the privacy of personal data.

They answered questions about the Equifax breach in September and Yahoo's in March.

But that change would be a stark change from the current system, said Paulino de Rego Barros, acting boss of Equifax.

Equifax revealed that hackers had gained access to sensitive information of 143 million USA consumers. Florida Sen. Bill Nelson asked Mayer.

The Senate Commerce Committee took the unusual step of subpoenaing Mayer to testify on October 25 after a representative for Mayer declined multiple requests for her voluntarily testimony.



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