Wednesday, 18 October, 2017

Equifax knew about cyber vulnerabilities before attack, ex-CEO claims

Equifax knew about cyber vulnerabilities before attack, ex-CEO claims Equifax Data Breach: 2.5 million more consumers affected, ex-CEO faces Congress
June Sullivan | 05 October, 2017, 00:52

Hackers accessed names, addresses, social security numbers, and some driver's licenses through a flaw in software known as Apache Struts.

Smith will testify at three separate congressional hearings this week. "I am here today to apologize to the American people myself".

Smith says they weren't prepared to deal with so many consumers all at once.

"We could have this hearing every year from now on if we don't do something to change the current system", Barton said.

"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.

With no apparent sense of irony, the nation's tax collectors have awarded embattled credit-reporting agency Equifax a contract to assist the IRS in verifying "taxpayer identities" as well as assist in "ongoing identity verification and validations", according to contract award posted to the Federal Business Opportunities database.

Equifax sent out an internal email the following day which should have required its internal IT team to fix the vulnerability within 48 hours, but that didn't happen.

The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) notified Equifax of the vulnerability that was responsible for the hack on March 8.

Smith was pressed early in the hearing about executive stock sales that took place before the hack was disclosed to the public. This week, former Equifax CEO Richard Smith, who retired in the wake of the breach, is being grilled by lawmakers over the major infiltration and its impact on American consumers.

Smith described the executives as "honorable men, men of integrity".

In a statement to Politico, the IRS said: "Following an internal review and an on-site visit with Equifax, the IRS believes the service Equifax provided does not pose a risk to IRS data or systems".

Schakowsky said "for a lot of Americans, that just doesn't pass the smell test". "As far as protection to the consumer, as far as ability to lock and unlock as opposed to freeze and unfreeze, the lock is far more consumer friendly", Smith said.

Hackers seem to have made their entry between mid-May and end of July.

But under questioning from lawmakers, he refused to commit Equifax to making whole any people who were financially harmed as a result of the breach. "I want to be in control of my information". "Unfortunately, if fraudsters destroy my constituents' savings and financial futures, there's no golden parachute awaiting them".

"Talk about ham-handed responses, this is simply unacceptable", said Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore.

"At that time, we did not know the nature or the scope of the incident", Smith said. He said the company has increased its number of customer service representatives and the website has been improved.

Smith said he would like companies and government agencies to "begin a dialogue" about replacing Social Security numbers as a key verifier.

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