One More Reason to Care about the Equifax Data Breach

05 October, 2017, 00:52 | Author: Jeannette Greene
  • Deciding the right path for shielding your credit report?

"The company has been around for 118 years and for most of those 118 years has done good things", Smith said. Credit reporting in the U.S. is dominated by three large companies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion), and Equifax is arguably the powerhouse of the bunch. Still, the company waited two more weeks before going public with the massive hack.

Specifically, that after the company was notified that there was a software vulnerability that needed to be patched, "the individual who was responsible for communication within the organization to apply the patch" did not tell the appropriate people to do so.

The latest disclosure comes as former CEO Rick Smith is set to testify in Washington before a trio of committees about the data breach.

Equifax is trying to help consumers while also fixing its security systems, he said. Smith appeared before the committee a day later. But despite numerous internal discussions, Equifax did not publicly announce the breach until September 7.

However, it said the review added about 2.5 million Americans to the list of those affected by the massive cyberattack, bringing the total number of people in the USA potentially impacted to 145.5 million.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau officials have said the agency should embed more regulators at the three largest USA credit-rating firms to monitor cybersecurity - a plan endorsed Tuesday by Representative Jan Schakowsky.


The House Committee on Energy and Commerce's three-hour hearing was held to answer questions about this year's breach from mid-May to the end of July, when hackers obtained information on over 143 million people from Equifax, or about 44 percent of the USA population. Companies should be required to tell people when hacks happen, be held to security standards with penalties to back them up, and cover costs when its customers who pay. "This is unlike other breaches at stores such as Target and Michaels, where consumers could make a choice and change their shopping habits if they were upset with how the companies protected data". Walden said in opening remarks at the hearing.

"The company knows, however, that it was this unpatched vulnerability that allowed hackers to access personal identifying information".

Equifax's former chief executive will face the Senate Banking Committee today at 10 a.m. EDT.

"Because of this breach, consumers will spend the rest of their lives worrying about identity theft", Warren said.

Meanwhile, Equifax is under investigation by the Department of Justice, Federal Trade Commission, Securities and Exchange Commission and Consumer Federal Protection Bureau, as well as by more than 40 state attorneys general. "I think that way is something different than an SSN, a date of birth and a name", he said, according to Bloomberg.

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