Yahoo's Mayer Says Hackers Getting Tougher as Equifax Reassures

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".

Yahoo initially revealed its breach a year ago, later lowering the price for its main web properties for a sale to Verizon Communications Inc.

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, which announced last month that a 2013 breach affected far more customers than previously thought, has doubled its security staff, helping to deflect "a barrage of attacks", Mayer said in remarks to be delivered Wednesday before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.

"The threat from state-sponsored attacks has changed the playing field so dramatically that today I believe that all companies, even the most-well-defended ones, could fall victim to these crimes", she said.

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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 USA government presented data to Yahoo in November 2016.

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 Mayer spokesperson said Tuesday she was appearing voluntarily. A breach at the credit-reporting company earlier this year exposed personal data for 145 million consumers.

The hearing comes after Equifax said failure to install a security update may have led to exposure of information of more than 145 million people in the USA and nearly 700,000 people in the UK.

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

"Social security number a static identity as a basis for our online identity will not be secure is not secure and will never be secure in the future", said Entrust Datacard Corp.

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US lawmakers have been grilling corporate leaders in recent months over failures to protect sensitive information on hundreds of millions of Americans. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., said.

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

Marissa Mayer told senators she still doesn't know who was behind a 2013 data theft affecting 3 bln users.

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