Yahoo, Equifax apologize with fixes. Congress doesn't buy it

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'.

"We now know that Russian intelligence officers and state-sponsored hackers were responsible for highly complex and sophisticated attacks on Yahoo's systems", Mayer said.

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.

It was only in 2016, when law enforcement brought files to Yahoo containing user information that had been found online, that it even realized its defenses had been breached, she said.

Ms Mayer said increasing the potential consequences of hacks for the perpetrators would help deter attacks, on both the state-sponsored and commercial side. A representative for Mayer said on Tuesday she was appearing voluntarily.

Mayer is part of a long line of company executives and former executives who have made their way to Capitol Hill in recent years to explain how their company fell victim to a cyberattack.

"A combination cooperation between public private to address this issue is needed", said former Equifax CEO Richard Smith.

In response to questioning, former Yahoo chief executive Marissa Mayer said customers should own their data.

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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.

"We work according to the law and use the tools that the industry uses to have arbitration in place", Barros said, referring to consumers' ability to sue Equifax. A breach at the credit-reporting company earlier this year exposed personal data for 145 million consumers.

He said a federal law should replace that patchwork of laws.

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

Paulino do Rego Barros, Jr. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) said, "but when".

"To this day, we have still not been able to identify the intrusion that led to the attack".

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

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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