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Former Yahoo, Equifax CEOs to testify at Senate hearing on hacks

Marissa Mayer and Richard Smith among those invited to appear before panel to discuss massive hacks.

Computer keyboard with security

The former CEOs for Yahoo and Equifax have been invited to testify at a Senate committee hearing on massive data breaches.

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Former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and the current and former CEOs of Equifax will testify next week before a Senate committee on massive data breaches that affected both companies, the committee said Wednesday.

The Senate Commerce Committee said Mayer, interim Equifax CEO Paulino do Rego Barros Jr. and former Equifax CEO Richard Smith would testify on Nov. 8. So will Karen Zacharia, deputy general counsel and chief privacy officer at Verizon, which purchased Yahoo in June.

"Massive data breaches have touched the vast majority of American consumers," Sen. John Thune, a Republican from South Dakota, said in a statement. "When such breaches occur, urgent action is necessary to protect sensitive personal information."

Mayer is expected to discuss the massive 2013 hack that compromised every single one of Yahoo's 3 billion accounts -- the largest hack in history. The information stolen in the massive breach did not include passwords in clear text, payment card data or bank account information. Yahoo is still working with law enforcement to determine who was behind the attack.

Senators are expected to query Barros and Smith about how cybercrooks stole a treasure trove of financial data from the credit-monitoring bureau on as many as 143 million people in the US. The pilfered data included names, Social Security numbers, birth dates and addresses of customers.

Equifax has been under intense scrutiny since the hack was revealed on Sept. 7. A pair of influential US senators have sent a letter to then-Equifax CEO Rick Smith demanding details about the hack, including information about when authorities and board members were informed of the hack.

They specifically want to know details of nearly $1.8 million in stock sales made by Equifax executives, including the company's chief financial officer, three days after the breach was discovered and several weeks before it was made public.

Smith stepped down as CEO three weeks after the hack was revealed and was replaced by Barros.

Neither Verizon nor Equifax immediately responded to requests for comment.

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