The Equifax Hack Affected More People in the U.S. than in Canada

05 October, 2017, 00:52 | Author: Marjorie Miles
  • 1 Prepared Testimony of Richard F. Smith before the US House Committee on Energy and ... - gov.house.docs

"You realize to many Americans right now, that looks like we're giving Lindsay Lohan the key to the minibar", Senator John Kennedy, a Republican of Louisiana, said Wednesday to former Equifax CEO Richard Smith at a Senate Banking Committee hearing.

Smith, who stepped down last week as Equifax's chief executive, appeared Tuesday before a House subcommittee that is investigating the breach.

Many senators, particularly Wall Street watchdog Sen. Equifax says it is also in discussions with regulatory authorities in the United Kingdom concerning its disclosures of British citizens affected by the breach.

Lawmakers were unsatisfied by the company's apologies. "Equifax had the confidence of Americans in order to protect their personal data and we have failed", said the former officer, who remained at the head of the group for twelve years. Lawmakers pondered over how to prevent similar breaches in the future, but focused on the company's failure in what might be the hearing's iconic quote: "How does this happen when so much is at stake?" We wouldn't count on it, though, and there's always the possibility that the IRS will fall afoul of the kind of data breach that prompted this anti-fraud contract in the first place. "This breach has impacted all of them". No current Equifax employees testified at the hearing.

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The total number of people affected by the recent Equifax breach has risen after more details came to light. Smith said it by way of promoting the benefits of Equifax's new "lock" product.

However, Smith had an interesting explainer for how this easy fix slipped by 225 people's notice - one person didn't do their job.

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

In another exchange, Smith said he had "no indication of a breach" prior to the date of the stock sales, only of "suspicious activity". Equifax since sent out a statement retracting that language and saying consumers could sue, which they have started to do.

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Smith retired from the credit reporting company last week but led it during the time of the breach, which it disclosed last month. By August, Equifax was aware of the scale of the breach, Smith said.

Smith's replacement, Paulino do Rego Barros Jr., has also apologized for the hack and said the company will help customers freeze their credit records and monitor any misuse.

Representative Debbie Dingell added: "You can't change your Social Security number and I can't change my mother's maiden name". Critics have long condemned the widespread reliance on and use of the numbers as insecure. The company said it would notify them through the mail.

"It is time to have identity verification procedures that match the technological age in which we live", he said.

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