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Sen. Warner: Yahoo Breach Indictments Spotlight Russian Intervention

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee and cofounder of that body's Cybersecurity Caucus, praised the indictment of Yahoo's alleged Russian hackersWednesday but was clearly troubled by the involvement of Russian government entities and still unhappy with Yahoo.

“I applaud the Department of Justice for naming names and bringing criminal charges against the individuals responsible for the Yahoo hack, including two individuals who are on the payroll of the Russian government," he said in a statement.

"We commend Yahoo and Google for providing exemplary cooperation while zealously protecting their users’ privacy," said U.S. attorney Brian Stretch in announcing the indictments.

Warner was not ready to join in that characterization.

“I continue to believe Yahoo had a responsibility to be more forthcoming in publicly reporting this breach sooner than it did, and both the public and private sectors often move too slowly to address the growing threats posed by cyber criminals," he said.

He said the indictments were a reminder to American businesses that they need to invest in "robust cyber defenses," as well as to be "more willing to share threat information, and be much more upfront with consumers when their defenses fail."

He also said that hackers needed to be pursued "wherever possible to the fullest extent of the law, whether the motivation was financial or political."

The Intelligence Committee is in the midst of an investigation of allegations that Russia intervened in the U.S. presidential election in favor of eventual winner Donald Trump.

“Today’s indictments shed a light on the close and mutually beneficial ties between the cyber underworld and Russia’s government and security services, and the extent to which Russia leverages these cyber activities to multiple ends: commercial, financial, and geopolitical," he said. "This simply underscores the complexity and the urgency of the task facing the Senate Intelligence Committee in its bipartisan investigation into Russia’s interference in America’s 2016 elections.”