Thursday, September 7, 2017

Equifax says 143 Million Consumers Potentially Hacked! Three Equifax Managers Sold Stock Before Cyber Hack Was Revealed





Equifax says 143 million consumers potentially hacked



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Equifax Inc, a provider of consumer credit scores, said on Thursday a hack exposed the personal details of potentially 143 million U.S. consumers between mid-May and July.

The company's shares were down 5.4 percent in after-market trading
The company said criminals had accessed details including names, social security numbers, and, in some cases, driver's license numbers.
In addition, credit card numbers of around 209,000 U.S. consumers and certain dispute documents with personal identifying information of around 182,000 U.S. consumers were accessed, the company said.
Equifax also said personal information of certain UK and Canadian residents were also hacked.
The Atlanta-based company it would work with UK and Canadian regulators to determine the next steps.
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Equifax, which discovered the unauthorized access on July 29, said it had hired a cybersecurity firm to investigate the breach.
The company said there was no evidence of a breach into its core consumer or commercial credit reporting databases.
The breach could be one of the biggest in the United States.
Last December, Yahoo Inc said more than 1 billion user accounts was compromised in August 2013, while in 2014 e-commerce company EBay Inc had urged 145 million users to change their passwords following a cyber attack. http://reut.rs/2wMNxrT (Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila

Credit reporting firm Equifax says data breach could potentially affect 143 million US consumers

  • Equifax said data on 143 million U.S. customers was obtained in a breach.
  • The breach was discovered July 29.
  • Personal data including birth dates, credit card numbers and more were obtained in the breach.
  • Three Equifax executives sold shares in the company days after the breach was discovered.






Equifax, which supplies credit information and other information services, said Thursday that a data breach could have potentially affected 143 million consumers in the United States.
The population of the U.S. was about 324 million in 2017, according to Census Bureau estimates, which means the Equifax incident affects a huge portion of the country.
Equifax said it discovered the breach on July 29. "Criminals exploited a U.S. website application vulnerability to gain access to certain files," the company said.
SEC filings show that three Equifax executives – Chief Financial Officer John Gamble Jr., workforce solutions president Rodolfo Ploder and U.S. information solutions president Joseph Loughran – sold nearly $2 million in shares in the company days after the cyberattack was discovered. It was unclear whether their share sales had anything to do with the breach. An Equifax spokeswoman didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
Shares of Equifax fell more than 12 percent in after-hours trading.
The company said the exposed data include names, birth dates, Social Security numbers, addresses and some driver's license numbers, all of which Equifax aims to protect for its customers.
Equifax added that 209,000 U.S. credit card numbers were obtained, in addition to "certain dispute documents with personal identifying information for approximately 182,000 U.S. consumers."
"This is a security risk for any and every website that anyone uses," Christopher O'Rourke, founder and CEO of cybersecurity firm Soteria, told CNBC.

"Most often, security questions to access those websites use that data, like a previous address, so this becomes an open-source intelligence nightmare, worse in many ways than the Office of Personnel Management government breach. It's nasty. If I can get my hands on that information I can call a bank. They're going to ask me for your Social, address, the information that was leaked here, to get access."
Equifax Chairman and CEO Richard Smith apologized to consumers and customers and noted that he's aware the breach affects what the company is supposed to protect.
Equifax said it is now alerting customers whose information was included in the breach via mail, and is working with state and federal authorities. Its private investigation into the breach is complete. NBC News, citing law enforcement sources, reported that the FBI was actively investigating the incident and that the company has been cooperating with the bureau.
Correction: A previous version of this story misidentified the Office of Personnel Management.
-CNBC's Mike Calia contributed to this report.

WATCH: Equifax share hit on cyber hack



Three Equifax Managers Sold Stock Before Cyber Hack Was Revealed

Three Equifax Inc. senior executives sold shares worth almost $1.8 million in the days after the company discovered a security breach that may have compromised information on about 143 million U.S. consumers.






The credit-reporting service said late Thursday in a statement that it discovered the intrusion on July 29. Regulatory filings show that three days later, Chief Financial Officer John Gamble sold shares worth $946,374 and Joseph Loughran, president of U.S. information solutions, exercised options to dispose of stock worth $584,099. Rodolfo Ploder, president of workforce solutions, sold $250,458 of stock on Aug. 2. None of the filings lists the transactions as being part of 10b5-1 pre-scheduled trading plans.
Equifax said in the statement that intruders accessed names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and driver’s-license numbers, as well as credit-card numbers for about 209,000 consumers. The incident ranks among the largest cybersecurity breaches in history.
Equifax shares tumbled 6.2 percent to $133.90 in extended trading at 5:50 p.m. in New York. Marisa Salcines, a spokeswoman for the Atlanta-based company, didn’t immediately return a call for comment.
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    Equifax Credit Ratings Agency Hack Exposes Sensitive Personal Data of 143 Million Americans




    USECONOMYSTOCK-MARKET
    The Wall Street Bull sculpture is seen in the Financial District on December 8, 2016 in New York.
    BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP/Getty Images
    The credit reporting agency Equifax announced a data breach Thursday that began in May and exposed the sensitive data—including the Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers, birth dates, addresses, among other personal data—of 143 million Americans. Hackers were able to exploit an application on the company’s website to gain access to private information of American, British, and Canadian customers. The ratings agency said it discovered the intrusion on July 29th, but, according to the New York Times, the company says it "has since found no evidence of unauthorized activity on its main consumer or commercial credit reporting databases."
    Equifax is one of the three major consumer credit reporting agencies and has wide access to individuals’ financial records used to determine creditworthiness. The hack of the Atlanta-based company was not as large as recent breaches at Yahoo; in September 2016 Yahoo announced 500 million accounts were hacked years earlier and three months later disclosed a second breach in 2013 where more than one billion user accounts had been compromised. The sensitivity of the information exposed—which makes up the foundation of our online identity and could easily be manipulated to perpetrate identity fraud—makes the Equifax breach particularly worrisome. Experian, another leading credit rating agency, exposed the personal data of 15 million Americans in a 2015 hack.
    Equifax said it is working with law enforcement and a cybersecurity firm to review its security measures, but the company waited a full 39 days to tell its customers they were newly susceptible to identity theft and a whole host of financial crimes. Three days after discovering the breach that would affect millions of customers however, while the company didn’t warn the public, three Equifax senior executives did sell $1.8 million in stock, according to Bloomberg.
    Regulatory filings show that three days later, Chief Financial Officer John Gamble sold shares worth $946,374 and Joseph Loughran, president of U.S. information solutions, exercised options to dispose of stock worth $584,099. Rodolfo Ploder, president of workforce solutions, sold $250,458 of stock on Aug. 2. None of the filings lists the transactions as being part of 10b5-1 pre-scheduled trading plans.
    “I apologize to consumers and our business customers for the concern and frustration this causes," said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Richard F. Smith said in a statement published on the company’s Web site.









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