Equifax ex­ec­u­tives step down af­ter ma­jor hack

Oman Daily Observer - - FRONT PAGE -

SAN FRAN­CISCO: Equifax said on Friday that two ex­ec­u­tives en­trusted with watch­ing over its com­put­ers are re­tir­ing, their de­par­tures com­ing af­ter its maligned han­dling of a ma­jor hack at the credit re­port­ing agency.

The Equifax chief in­for­ma­tion of­fi­cer and head of se­cu­rity will re­tire, ef­fec­tive im­me­di­ately, as “part of the com­pany’s on­go­ing re­view of the cy­ber­se­cu­rity in­ci­dent” that re­sulted in per­sonal data of 143 mil­lion cus­tomers be­ing stolen by hack­ers.

An in­ter­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the hack con­tin­ues and the com­pany is work­ing with the FBI, ac­cord­ing to Equifax.

Word that top ex­ec­u­tives re­spon­si­ble for de­fend­ing Equifax com­puter sys­tems are out came on the same day that the Cana­dian pri­vacy com­mis­sioner an­nounced an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the mas­sive theft of per­sonal data from the US credit agency.

“The in­ves­ti­ga­tion is a pri­or­ity for our of­fice given the sen­si­tiv­ity of the per­sonal in­for­ma­tion that Equifax holds,” the of­fice of the pri­vacy com­mis­sion of Canada said in a re­lease.

A se­nior US se­na­tor this week asked the Fed­eral Trade Com­mis­sion, one of the few bod­ies with over­sight pow­ers over loose­lyreg­u­lated credit raters, to ex­am­ine Equifax’s se­cu­rity prac­tices and its “widely-panned re­sponse” to con­sumers po­ten­tially im­pacted by the breach.

Se­na­tor Mark Warner, a mem­ber of the pow­er­ful Se­nate Bank­ing Com­mit­tee, ac­cused the com­pany of “ex­cep­tion­ally poor cy­ber­se­cu­rity prac­tices” that con­tin­ued even af­ter the hack be­came known.

He also said the com­pany’s woe­ful re­sponse to peo­ple whose data may have been lost — in­clud­ing try­ing to charge them for pro­tec­tion — was “alarm­ing”.

“The vol­ume and sen­si­tiv­ity of the data po­ten­tially in­volved in this breach raises se­ri­ous ques­tions about whether firms like Equifax ad­e­quately pro­tect the enor­mous amounts of sen­si­tive data they gather and com­mer­cial­ize.”

Equifax is one of the three ma­jor firms which col­lect con­sumers’ fi­nan­cial data in or­der to rate their credit-wor­thi­ness to banks, home sell­ers, auto sell­ers and oth­ers who de­pend on con­sumer credit in mar­ket­ing.

The data the com­pany ad­mit­ted to los­ing on Septem­ber 7 in­cludes peo­ple’s names, so­cial se­cu­rity num­bers, ad­dresses, credit card num­bers, and other fi­nan­cial de­tails.

Such data is of­ten used by crim­i­nals to steal peo­ple’s iden­ti­ties for fi­nan­cial gain.

US of­fi­cials are in­ves­ti­gat­ing the data hack but have not re­vealed if they know who was be­hind it, though for­eign hack­ers are widely sus­pected.

The breach took place from mid-May through July 2017 via a web­site ap­pli­ca­tion vul­ner­a­bil­ity that US cy­ber se­cu­rity com­pa­nies say they had iden­ti­fied in March.

Congress has ex­pressed out­rage at the hack and the com­pany’s man­age­ment of it.

Par­tic­u­lar anger has been aimed at al­le­ga­tions that three Equifax of­fi­cials sold their stock in the com­pany be­fore the hack was made pub­lic.


Trad­ing in­for­ma­tion and the com­pany logo are dis­played on a screen where the stock is traded on the floor of the NYSE in New York.

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