Yahoo's Mayer Says Hackers Getting Tougher as Equifax Reassures

Mayer joined former and current CEOs of Equifax in testifying before the committee examining recent data breaches. Former Equifax CEO Richard Smith was in charge of the company when 145million Americans had their information exposed

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. It also featured current and former CEOs of Equifax, which suffered a 2017 breach that reportedly affected approximately 145 million individuals and exposed sensitive personal and financial information.

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.

"When you think of a sophisticated state actor, China or Russian Federation, your companies can't stand up against them", said Florida's Senator Bill Nelson.

"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. A Mayer spokesperson said Tuesday she was appearing voluntarily. Mayer says Yahoo, which originally said only 1 billion accounts were affected, didn't find out about the hack until it got data from the government in 2016 and still hasn't figured out how it happened, though she says Russian intelligence officers have launched attacks on Yahoo systems. Yahoo's former CEO Marissa Mayer, as well as parent company Verizon's chief privacy officer Karen Zacharia, also testified. She said "really aggressive" pursuit of hackers was needed to discourage the efforts, and that even the most well-defended companies "could fall victim to these crimes".

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Ms Mayer said increasing the potential consequences of hacks for the perpetrators would help deter attacks, on both the state-sponsored and commercial side. That includes a credit-monitoring app that will be available in January, and free credit locks from the company.

Yahoo only learned about the hack last November, when U.S. law enforcement presented the company with the stolen information, Mayer said.

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 US consumers, said they did not know who was responsible for the attack. The company's website received 420 million visits, but only 30 million people have actually used it.

"Under current law, even some of the most egregious examples of lax security can be met only with apologies and promises to do better next time".

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