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

09 November, 2017, 01:26 | Author: Melinda Barton
  • Former Yahoo boss Marissa Mayer will be quizzed by US senators

Yahoo had bumped its estimate of affected accounts from a previous 1B to all of them (3B in total). That means the perpetrators had three years to dive into Yahoo user accounts, and to any other internet accounts registered with the same usernames and passwords.

Those interviewed by the committee included Interim Equifax CEO Paulino do Rego Barros Jr., former Equifax chief Richard Smith and former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer. Also testifying will be a witness with expertise on protecting financial data.

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. "It's going to take an attitude change among companies such as yours that we've got to go to extreme limits to protect our customers' privacy". The executives remained mute.

In March, federal prosecutors charged two Russian intelligence agents and two hackers with masterminding the 2014 theft of 500 million Yahoo accounts, the first time the USA government has criminally charged Russian spies for cyber crimes.


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. So far, no nation-state connection to the much larger 2013 breach has been revealed. 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.

She said Yahoo still has not been able to identify the intrusion that led to that theft. The company adopted a comprehensive information security program created to enhance its policies, procedures and controls based on the National Institute of Standards and Technology's cybersecurity framework, she said.

Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., the committee chairman, said 48 states have separate laws governing how and when companies must notify consumers of a breach. Indeed, the former CEO said, much of the facts behind the breaches remain shrouded in mystery.

'We don't exactly understand how the act was perpetrated, ' which explains why there are some gaps in information, she said.

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