Equifax takes down cus­tomer ser­vice web page af­ter re­ports of new hack

The Niagara Falls Review - - NATIONAL - Files from The As­so­ci­ated Press.

DAVID HODGES

THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

TORONTO — Equifax Canada says its U.S. par­ent com­pany’s web­site has tem­po­rar­ily taken down one of its cus­tomer ser­vices pages amid re­ports that an­other part of its web­site had been hacked.

Com­pany spokesman Tom Car­roll did not re­spond to di­rect ques­tions about any po­ten­tial breach to Equifax Canada’s web­site or the num­ber of Cana­dian or Amer­i­can Equifax cus­tomers that may have been af­fected.

Car­roll said in an e-mailed state­ment that, “We are aware of the sit­u­a­tion iden­ti­fied on the equifax. com web­site in the credit re­port as­sis­tance link.”

“Our IT and se­cu­rity teams are look­ing into this mat­ter, and out of an abun­dance of cau­tion have tem­po­rar­ily taken this page off­line,” his state­ment added.

“When it be­comes avail­able or we have more in­for­ma­tion to share, we will.”

The news comes as Equifax Inc. con­tin­ues to deal with the af­ter­math of a cy­ber breach ear­lier this year which al­lowed the per­sonal in­for­ma­tion of 145.5 mil­lion Amer­i­cans, and 8,000 Cana­di­ans, to be ac­cessed or stolen.

In the lat­est cybersecurity in­ci­dent, hack­ers re­port­edly al­tered Equifax’s credit re­port as­sis­tance page so that it would send users ma­li­cious soft­ware dis­guised as Adobe Flash.

Since news of Equifax’s mas­sive data breach broke last month, the com­pany is fac­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tions in Canada and the U.S., as well as at least two pro­posed class ac­tions filed in Canada.

The mas­sive data breach has also led to a num­ber of high-pro­file de­par­tures at the At­lanta-based con­sumer credit re­port­ing agency, in­clud­ing its chief ex­ec­u­tive, chief in­for­ma­tion of­fi­cer and chief se­cu­rity of­fi­cer.

In early Oc­to­ber, Equifax re­vised the num­ber of con­sumers po­ten­tially im­pacted in the breach — bump­ing up the to­tal in the U.S. to 145.5 mil­lion and re­duc­ing the num­ber in Canada from an es­ti­mated 100,000 to 8,000.

For th­ese Cana­dian con­sumers, Equifax says the in­for­ma­tion that may have been ac­cessed in­cludes name, ad­dress, so­cial in­sur­ance num­ber and, in “lim­ited cases” credit card num­bers. On its web­site, Equifax’s Cana­dian di­vi­sion says it has not yet mailed out any no­tices and made clear it would not be mak­ing any un­so­licited calls or e-mails about the is­sue.

BOB WE­BER

THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

It’s of­fi­cial. Google Street View has now gone to the ends of the Earth.

As part of a deal with Parks Canada, the in­ter­net giant is now show­cas­ing Street View im­ages of one of the re­motest places on the planet — Qut­tinir­paaq Na­tional Park on the north­ern tip of Ellesmere Is­land.

“We want peo­ple to care about the places that we pro­tect,” said Emma Up­ton, who man­ages the park. “Bring­ing it into peo­ple’s homes seemed a re­ally good idea. “It is a dif­fi­cult place to reach.” That is an un­der­state­ment. Only a tiny sliver at Green­land’s apex reaches fur­ther north.

To reach Qut­tinir­paaq (pro­nounced kih-TURN-ih-pak), you first fly to Iqaluit, the cap­i­tal of Nu­navut. Your next flight takes you to Res­o­lute on Corn­wal­lis Is­land. Then you must hire a Twin Ot­ter to fly to the park, where there are no com­mu­ni­ties, no ser­vices, no noth­ing.

It takes days and thou­sands of dol­lars. Fewer than 25 souls man­age it each year.

For those in­trepid trav­ellers, how­ever, the re­wards are rich.

“It’s a place where we can still find true soli­tude and we can still ex­pe­ri­ence real si­lence,” said Up­ton. “You can hike for days and you will not see a sin­gle jet fly­ing over you. You will hear the wind in your ears and a few birds and the water rush­ing.”

Moun­tains, glaciers cling­ing to their sides, soar thou­sands of me­tres from icy seas. Rivers carve through rugged val­leys past gen­tle hills.

“I could read the land­scape like an open book,” said Up­ton.

Wildlife in­cludes herds of muskox, Arc­tic fox, wolves and 10-kg Arc­tic hares. Gyr­fal­cons and owls slice the skies.

Parks Canada staff were trained in the use of Google trekker cam­eras and spent July 2016 car­ry­ing them around the park as part of their reg­u­lar work, said Up­ton.

“The cam­era it­self is a very sturdy piece of equip­ment. It can be mounted on Ski-Doos, ATVs, on boats. In the case of a lot of our vis­its to na­tional parks, it was ac­tu­ally a per­son car­ry­ing the Google trekker on their back.”

Parks Canada is try­ing to make Qut­tinir­paaq a lit­tle more ac­ces­si­ble. Once a year, the agency char­ters a Twin Ot­ter from Res­o­lute and sells eight or nine re­turn seats to the pub­lic, price avail­able upon re­quest.

Or you could vol­un­teer to cook for park staff.

Most peo­ple will have to rely on a high-def­i­ni­tion mon­i­tor for the view and their imag­i­na­tion for the light, the wind, the si­lence.

“It’s quite spe­cial to me that we still have places in the world that we can have that,” said Up­ton

THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

A Parks Canada staff mem­ber hikes near Air Force Glacier with the Google trekker in Qut­tinir­paaq Na­tional Park in Nu­navut in July 2016.

THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS FILES

Equifax has taken down one of its web pages af­ter re­ports that an­other part of its web­site had been hacked as well.

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