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Senators Say Yahoo’s Delay in Notifying Users of Breach ‘Unacceptable’

Image by Sebastian Bergmann.

Six Democratic U.S. senators are demanding answers from Yahoo about one of the largest data breaches in history.

In a letter to CEO Marissa Mayer, the senators said they are “disturbed,” first by the 2014 hack that compromised the information of more than 500,000 people and, secondly, by the fact that the tech firm announced the breach just last week despite possibly knowing about it since July.

“This is highly sensitive, personal information that hackers can use not only to access Yahoo customer accounts, but also potentially to gain access to any other account or service that users access with similar login or personal information, including bank information and social media profiles,” the senators wrote in the letter to Mayer.

“We are even more disturbed that user information was first compromised in 2014, yet the company only announced the breach last week. That means millions of Americans’ data may have been compromised for two years. This is unacceptable.”

The letter, signed by Senators Patrick Leahy, Al Franken, Elizabeth Warren, Richard Blumenthal, Ron Wyden and Edward Markey, demands Yahoo hand over a timeline of the hack and its discovery as well as what the tech company plans to do to keep another such hack from occurring.

The letter also asks the company for details on its investigation, how it is co-operating with authorities and what it plans to do to help users whose data was compromised.

The letter comes on the same week that Sen. Mark Warner asked the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to investigate the massive breach of Yahoo’s systems.

Yahoo announced last week that its system was hacked back in 2014 with the attackers making off with users’ names, e-mail addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords and security questions and answers. Yahoo has said it is still investigating the breach along with law enforcement officials.

The company has also announced it is in the process of notifying potentially affected users and is encouraging those who have been affected to change their passwords and adopt alternate means of account verification.

News of the breach comes just a few months after Verizon agreed to acquire Yahoo’s Internet business for $4.83 billion in cash. It is not known how or if the breach will impact the deal, but there are rumors that investors may no longer be in favor, meaning there could be even more headaches on the horizon for Mayer.

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Jennifer Cowan

Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.