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SEC said to be investigating Yahoo over data breaches

The struggling Web pioneer may have taken too long to report the hacks to investors.

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer plans to step down from her company's board after its consumer web business is sold to Verizon.
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The US Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating Yahoo over the high-profile data leaks disclosed last year, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.

Yahoo, which is in the process of being acquired by Verizon in a deal worth $4.83 billion, disclosed in September that data from at least 500 million users was compromised in a state-sponsored hack that occurred in 2014. In mid-December, Yahoo further disclosed that a newly discovered August 2013 data breach affected more than 1 billion users.

The SEC requires companies to disclose any risks relating to cybersecurity once a data breach is determined to have an effect on investors. The government agency is reportedly investigating whether Yahoo's disclosures about the data breaches complied with civil securities laws.

The battered web pioneer announced last year it would be selling its core assets to Verizon. That sale has been in question after Yahoo suffered major black eyes: the disclosure of the hacks and a scandal that involved Yahoo reportedly building surveillance tools that let the government scan through customer emails.

Assuming the deal goes through, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer plans to step down from the board. And actually, not all of the company is being sold, just Yahoo's consumer web business, which includes Yahoo Mail and Sports.

A Yahoo spokesperson declined to comment.

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