Former blaming Russian agentsYahoo CEO apologizes for data breaches

Vastavam web: Former Yahoo Chief Executive Marissa Mayer apologized on Wednesday for two massive data breaches at the internet company, blaming Russian agents for at least one of them, at a hearing on the growing number of cyber attacks on major U.S. companies.Verizon, the largest U.S. wireless operator, acquired most of Yahoo Inc’s assets in June, the same month Mayer stepped down. Verizon disclosed last month that a 2013 Yahoo data breach affected all 3 billion of its accounts, compared with an estimate of more than 1 billion disclosed in December.
In March, federal prosecutors charged two Russian intelligence agents and two hackers with masterminding a 2014 theft of 500 million Yahoo accounts, the first time the U.S. government has criminally charged Russian spies for cyber crimes.Special Agent Jack Bennett of the FBI’s San Francisco Division said in March the 2013 breach was unrelated and that an investigation of the larger incident was continuing. 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.
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 U.S. government presented data to Yahoo in November 2016. She said even “robust” defenses are not enough to defend against state-sponsored attacks and compared the fight with hackers to an “arms race.”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 U.S. consumers, said they did not know who was responsible for the attack.
Senator Bill Nelson said “only stiffer enforcement and stringent penalties will help incentivize companies to properly safeguard consumer information.”
Thune told reporters after the hearing the Equifax data breach had created “additional momentum” for Congress to approve legislation. He said Mayer’s testimony was “important in shaping our future reactions.