Former Yahoo CEO says no company or agency immune from hacks

The hearing will feature testimony from a current and a former official who worked on the response to Yahoo!'s 2013 data breach, which the company announced only last month affected all 3 billion user accounts, as well as the current and former CEO of Equifax, which suffered a 2017 breach reported to affect approximately 145 million individuals, including sensitive personal and financial information.

USA lawmakers will grill current and former executives from Equifax and Yahoo at a hearing today focused on security breaches at their companies that have affected billions of internet users.

"To this day, as I understand it, we still have not been able to identify the intrusion that led to that theft", Mayer said during a congressional hearing on Wednesday. Verizon closed its $4.5 billion acquisition of Yahoo in June, when Mayer resigned from the company. "We verified that it came from Yahoo, but we don't exactly understand how the act was perpetrated", she told the committee.

Yahoo only learned about the hack last November, when United States law enforcement presented the company with the stolen information, Mayer said. In October, it said that as it was integrating Yahoo into its systems, it obtained new intelligence that all Yahoo user accounts were affected by the August 2013 theft.

In Yahoo's case, stolen information for billions of users included names, email addresses, phone numbers, birthdates and security questions and answers.

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.

Notably, while Mayer is no longer with the company, Verizon Chief Privacy Officer Karen Zacharia, also present on the panel, did not chime in to disagree with that assessment.

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