Senators Awaiting Answers to ‘Basic Questions’ About Yahoo Data Breaches

Thune chairs the Senate Commerce Committee. (Rob Kunzig/Morning Consult)

Two Republican senators on Friday pressed Yahoo Inc. Chief Executive Marissa Mayer about her company’s failure to answer questions about data breaches from 2013 and 2014.

“Despite several inquiries by committee staff seeking information about the security of Yahoo! user accounts, company officials have thus far been unable to provide answers to many basic questions about the reported breaches,” Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (S.D.) and Consumer Protection, Product Safety, Insurance and Data Security Subcommittee Chairman Jerry Moran (Kan.) wrote in a letter to Mayer.

Thune and Moran said they’re concerned about Yahoo’s “last-minute cancellation” of a congressional staff briefing that was scheduled for Jan. 31, which “prompted concerns about the company’s willingness to deal with Congress with complete candor about these recent events.”

In September, Yahoo disclosed a 2014 data breach that resulted in stolen information connected to at least 500 million user accounts. That was the largest known commercial data breach until Yahoo announced in December that in 2013 hackers stole information linked to more than 1 billion accounts.

Thune and Moran sent five questions to Mayer, including queries over what data Yahoo believes was compromised and if it included sensitive personal information. The senators requested a “detailed timeline” of the incidents, information on when Yahoo sent notifications to law enforcement agencies and what steps the company has taken to “identify and mitigate potential consumer harm” that came with the data breaches.

Yahoo didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Morning Consult