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'. Less than one-fifth of the 145 million people affected by the breach are actually turning to Equifax's solutions, Barros said during the testimony.
While testifying, the 42-year-old said she wants to "sincerely apologize to each and every one of our users.' She said that the company defended itself against a barrage of state-sponsored and private hacks over the years".
The Department of Justice indicted Russian hackers for attacking Yahoo during a 2014 breach, but not the 3 billion users affected by the data leak from 2013. Richard Blumenthal of CT says enforcing punishments for data breaches on executives like Mayer could motivate companies to protect users' data. A Mayer spokesperson said Tuesday she was appearing voluntarily.
Mayer is part of a long line of company executives and former executives who have made their way to Capitol Hill in recent years to explain how their company fell victim to a cyberattack.
"Massive data breaches have touched the vast majority of American consumers", said Thune.
He also said the company is on schedule to release a computer app in January that will allow consumers to lock and unlock their credit data.More news: Upcoming flagship smartphone to hit shelves on November 21
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On Wednesday, several senators said there should be more financial incentive for companies to prevent against hacks, as well as laws that have "teeth" when it comes to notifying consumers of breaches.
But that change would be a stark change from the current system, said Paulino de Rego Barros, acting boss of Equifax.
USA lawmakers have been grilling corporate leaders in recent months over failures to protect sensitive information on hundreds of millions of Americans. "Not fines, or other penalties - or real deterrents", said Connecticut Sen.
Consultants hired by Equifax to investigate haven't been able to identify the attackers, according to a summary of their report provided to Senate staff before Wednesday's hearing and obtained by Bloomberg.
The Senate Commerce Committee took the unusual step of subpoenaing Mayer to testify on October 25 after a representative for Mayer declined multiple requests for her voluntarily testimony.