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Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer says company is 'heartened' by users' loyalty following cyber hack fallout

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By Rebecca Stewart | Trends Editor

October 19, 2016 | 3 min read

Yahoo has had a difficult year, but it's chief executive Marissa Mayer has said that the company is "heartened" by users' loyalty following a mammoth data breach.

In one of the largest hacks ever recorded, the personal information of some 500 million Yahoo users was stolen in late 2014, with the company saying the breach was most likely down to a "state sponsored actor".

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Yahoo says it's 'heartened' by users' loyalty following cyber hack fallout

The data taken potentially included names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords and encrypted and unencrypted security questions and answers.

Addressing investors in prepared remarks during Yahoo's third-quarter results for 2016, Mayer divulged no new information around the circumstances of the security issue, instead saying: "We take deep responsibility in protecting our users and the security of their information. We’re working hard to retain their trust and are heartened by their continued loyalty as seen in our user engagement trends."

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She also appeared to confirm that that the company was pushing ahead with its $4.8bn sale to Verizon, which looked to be under threat last week due to the hack.

"In addition to our continued efforts to strengthen our business, we are busy preparing for integration with Verizon," Mayer said, continuing: "We remain very confident, not only in the value of our business, but also in the value Yahoo products bring to our users' lives."

Despite Mayer's optimism, some have pointed out that internal data from Yahoo around user engagement traffic paints a "skewed picture". The number of mail messages sent and read in the weeks after the attack noted a boost, which instead of demonstrating user loyalty could perhaps point to a more negative trend of users logging in to disable their accounts or forward on emails containing sensitive information.

Yahoo beat earnings expectations in the third quarter, with its profits rising to $163m, from $76.3m in 2015, and revenue up 6.5% to $1.3bn.

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