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

Congress grilled Mayer on why it took so long to let users know about the breach and why Yahoo! underestimated the number of accounts affected.

The 42-year-old, who testified before the Senate Commerce Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington on Wednesday, said the thefts occurred during her almost five-year tenure and she wants to 'sincerely apologize to each and every one of our users'.

Mayer apologized for both breaches and said that its hard for companies to fight against state-sponsored attackers who "tend to be more sophisticated, more persistent and who attack more targets.They're very good at hiding their tracks", she said.

Sen. Jerry Moran, a Republican from Kansas, pressed the Yahoo and Equifax executives on whether consumers can expect their data to be safer today in the wake of the breaches.

While speaking to lawmakers on Wednesday, former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer (above) apologized for Yahoo hacks and claims that no company is immune from them.

"Right now there's just not enough of a disincentive to hack", she said.

'As we all have witnessed: no company, individual or even government agency is immune from these threats, ' Mayer said.

The cyber thieves - identified by Mayer as Russian intelligence officers and state-sponsored actors - did not get their hands on "passwords in clear text, payment card data, or bank account information", Yahoo said at the time.

In March, federal prosecutors charged two Russian intelligence agents and two hackers with masterminding the 2014 theft of 500 million Yahoo accounts, the first time the U.S. government has criminally charged Russian spies for cyber crimes.

The Equifax breach exposed personal information of 145 million Americans earlier this year.

Mayer joined former and current CEOs of Equifax in testifying before the committee examining recent data breaches. Its chief security officer now reports directly to the CEO, and a new chief transformation officer is overseeing the firm's broader response. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) said, "but when".

They say new laws may be necessary amid rising cyber attacks that threaten the privacy of personal data.

'A single federal standard would ensure all consumers are treated the same with regard to notification of data breaches that might cause them harm, ' Thune said.

Barros mentioned that Equifax is working on an application that would let customers lock and unlock personal credit data.

Yahoo! didn't disclose the breach until 2016 and initially said one billion accounts were affected.

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