Marissa Mayer was given one closing job for Yahoo: getting grilled by Congress.
Mayer, the previous CEO of Yahoo, testified earlier than a Senate Commerce Committee on Wednesday a few safety breach that compromised three billion consumer accounts, making it the one largest breach in historical past.
“As CEO, these thefts occurred during my tenure and I want to sincerely apologize to each and every one of our users,” Mayer mentioned in opening remarks on the Senate listening to.
The breach occurred in August, 2013 and was disclosed by Yahoo in 2016. Yahoo initially mentioned it impacted a couple of billion accounts. Verizon, which acquired Yahoo in June, revealed final month that the breach really compromised all accounts.
At the information breach listening to, which additionally featured the present and former CEOs of Equifax (EFX), Mayer was pressed on why it took so lengthy to reveal the breach and the way it may have underestimated the impression by billions of accounts.
Related: Why Marissa Mayer could not save Yahoo
“Yahoo did not know of the intrusion in 2013. We learned of the intrusion by files presented to us in 2016,” Mayer mentioned. She deflected the elevated estimate by noting it was revealed after her tenure on the firm had ended.
Mayer left Yahoo when the acquisition closed in June. She walked away from the corporate with almost $260 million on the time in inventory and severance.
Sen. Brian Schatz, a Democrat from Hawaii, known as it “unfathomable to the average person” that the CEOs of Yahoo or Equifax may stroll away with “possibly a quarter of a billion dollars” regardless of the information safety failures.
“You harm consumers and you walk away with the amount of money that a small city or county uses for their annual operating budget,” Schatz mentioned.
Sen. Jerry Moran, a Republican from Kansas, pressed the Yahoo and Equifax executives on whether or not shoppers can anticipate their information to be safer immediately within the wake of the breaches. Verizon’s chief privateness officer, Karen Zacharia, stumbled and stopped wanting saying sure.
In her remarks, Mayer mentioned firms are successfully in an “arms race” with non-public hackers and state-sponsored actors as their strategies “become more sophisticated.”
“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,” Mayer mentioned.
The Justice Department beforehand indicted two Russian spies for a separate 2014 breach of Yahoo’s information. The supply of the 2013 breach stays unknown.
CNNMoney (New York) First printed November eight, 2017: 12:38 PM ET