Yahoo, Equifax apologize with fixes. Congress doesn't buy it

Marissa Mayer yahoo

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

For Yahoo, lawmakers are probing a 2013 breach, which the company reported in December of 2016 as it proceeded with its plans to merge with Verizon.

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.

Although Mayer testified that the 2014 breach was state-sponsored, Yahoo still hasn't concluded who was responsible for the 2013 hack.

"I believe all companies, even the most well defended ones, could fall victim to these crimes", she said.

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Mayer said Yahoo still doesn't know exactly hackers breached all of its users, and isn't sure what flaws it needs to fix. A representative for Mayer said on Tuesday she was appearing voluntarily.

In response to questioning, former Yahoo chief executive Marissa Mayer said customers should own their data.

- Former Equifax CEO Richard Smith and Verizon's chief privacy officer Karen Zacharia also testified. "This hearing will give the public the opportunity to hear from those in charge, at the time major breaches occurred and during the subsequent response efforts, at two large companies who lost personal consumer data to nefarious actors".

The credit reporting company has reshaped management since hackers obtained personal data on more than 145 million people, he said.

Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., said lawmakers need to have the political will to hold corporations more accountable for breaches.

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On Wednesday, several senators said there should be more financial incentive for companies to prevent against hacks, as well as laws that have "teeth" when it comes to notifying consumers of breaches.

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 US government has criminally charged Russian spies for cyber crimes.

Consultants hired by Equifax to investigate haven't been able to identify the attackers, according to a summary of their report provided to Senate staff before Wednesday's hearing and obtained by Bloomberg.

Nevertheless, Yahoo still does not fully understand "how the act was perpetrated", Mayer admitted.

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