Equifax Retained Law Firm a Month Before Notifying Public of Data Breach

05 October, 2017, 00:53 | Author: Juana Mckenzie
  • Adding insult to injury

Smith was testifying before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs.

At a congressional hearing Tuesday, former company CEO Richard Smith described the executives as "honorable men, men of integrity". He told the House Energy and Commerce Committee this week that a single IT technician was at fault for the mega-breach after they failed to patch a vulnerability in the Apache Struts Web Framework.

Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch told reporters that "it's irresponsible for the IRS to turn over millions in taxpayer dollars to a company that has yet to offer a succinct answer on how at least 145 million Americans had personally identifiable information exposed".

Equifax is trying to help consumers while also fixing its security systems, he said.

"I was advised Sunday that the analysis of the number of consumers potentially impacted by the cybersecurity incident has been completed, and I directed that the results be promptly released", said interim chief executive Paulino do Rego Barros Jr.

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Representative Jan Schakowsky, an Illinois Democrat, said the attack should prompt a broader conversation about credit agencies, which collect credit data on consumers from businesses often without people's knowledge.

We will likely continue to see bad news in the aftermath of Equifax's confession of exposing more than 143 million individuals personal data.

Late Monday, Equifax said an independent review had boosted the number of potentially affected US consumers by 2.5 million to 145.5 million.

Smith said that the US should transition away from using Social Security numbers as the standard for identity verification.

"Consumers do not have any say in whether or not Equifax collects and shares their data, and that's what makes this breach so concerning", Rep. Consumers don't have the ability to remove their information from Equifax's databases because it's furnished by banks and telecommunications companies.

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The IRS has suffered its own embarrassing breaches, with the agency announcing on 6 April that the personal data of up to 100,000 U.S. taxpayers could have been compromised.

The company is still investigating why the subsequent scan did not detect the vulnerability, but written testimony indicates it took place the following week, on March 15th.

Smith noted that in addition to his departure, the company's chief information officer and chief security officer also left the company following the breach. "Forty eight states have implemented laws that require consumers to be notified of security breaches", Matsui said.

During Monday's hearing, Smith apologized for the breach but also downplayed the seriousness of the problem. "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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