Congress tackles data breaches


(NBC News) Former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer apologized Wednesday during Senate testimony for massive data breaches at Yahoo that exposes the private information of billions of customers.

“As CEO, these thefts occurred during my tenure and I want to sincerely apologize to each and every one of our users,” Mayer said.

Two Russian agents are among four people charged by U.S. authorities with the attack on Yahoo. Mayer blamed Russia, and issued a warning.

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

Some senators agreed.

“When you think of a sophisticated state actor, China or Russia, your companies can’t stand up against them,” said Florida’s Senator Bill Nelson.

Mayer volunteered to testify on data breaches, but only after being subpoenaed.

Her former and current counterparts at Equifax were called in to explain what they’re doing in the wake of the September data breach where names, addresses, Social Security numbers, birth dates and driver’s license numbers on more than 145 million Equifax customers were stolen.

“A combination cooperation between public private to address this issue is needed,” said former Equifax CEO Richard Smith.

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