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09 November 2017, 01:28 | Gordon Grant
US 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.
The current and former chief executives of credit bureau Equifax, which disclosed in September that a data breach affected as many as 145.5 million USA consumers, said they did not know who was responsible for the attack.
"These thefts occurred during my tenure, and I want to sincerely apologize to each and every one of our users", Mayer said, according toCNet. Also testifying will be a witness with expertise on protecting financial data. In 2013, all 3 billion Yahoo accounts were hacked in what CNN reports was the largest data breach in history. A Mayer spokesperson said Tuesday she was appearing voluntarily.
Lawmakers said rigorous security rules are needed to counter the hacks and that companies need "extreme" limits to protect customers' privacy.
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.
A breach in 2014 affected 500 million Yahoo accounts and, in a first, led to the USA government criminally charging two Russian spies for cyber crimes.
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Mayer told the committee that Yahoo fell victim to the breaches despite devoting substantial resources to security in an attempt to stay ahead of sophisticated and constantly evolving threats.
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.
Those remarks prompted Committee Chairman John Thune, R-S.D., to ask Mayer why, despite these investments, Yahoo failed to detect the massive 2013 breach for three years.
She said Yahoo still has not been able to identify the intrusion that led to that theft. Mayer answered that such attacks are complex and persistent and the understanding of the facts behind them evolve over time.
'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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