Equifax rushes to fix credit freeze PIN blunder following massive data breach

Posted September 12, 2017

Data that was accessed by the hackers included names, birthdays, addresses, and social security numbers. "That's the big stick consumers have, and companies have been taking it away".

Hacking accounted for 41% of disclosed breaches, with Goddijn warning: "There are a lot of moving parts to an effective patch management program, but no matter how strong that process might be, it can be undermined when known vulnerabilities are missed simply because the organization was not aware to look for them".

If your information was exposed, Equifax is offering free identity theft protection and credit file monitoring services.

According to regulatory filings, on 1 August, 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. Not only was it hacked, resulting in the theft of the personal info 143 million Americans, its overly complicated system for informing users if their data was stolen has gotten all kinds of clap back.

"This is major. Because it's a credit reporting agency", Zafar said. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

When the Red Cross Blood Service suffered a leak a year ago, one of the things they did particularly well was to notify all affected parties by email, SMS and through the media.

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Enable Two-Factor Authentication. Equifax was hacked, but your cell phone wasn't. If you didn't know, Equifax is one of the largest United States based credit reporting agencies that collect and analyze detailed records of financial data for records of a wide range of consumers worldwide.

That stock sale, plus the company's response that has been roundly criticized as inadequate and questions about why Equifax delayed informing the public about the breach for several weeks are creating a ideal storm of controversy. Experian Plc, Equifax and TransUnion, the three biggest US credit-reporting companies, uncovered cases in 2013 where hackers gained illegal, unauthorized access to user information. The company didn't announce the breach until months later to consumers.

Since cybercriminals may have accessed what Ulzheimer calls the "crown jewels of information" at Equifax, he also suggests putting a long term freeze on your credit. "I can also use it to try to con somebody else".

While their services are essential to the USA economy, the credit-reporting bureaus don't have the same regulatory oversight as the financial industry. Some are considering Equifax's own credit monitoring service. It partly comes from the industry practice of mandatory arbitration, in which the fine print on many financial products says customers have to use a private third-party arbitration service in order to resolve their disputes.

According to a study by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, only about 16 people per year win in arbitration against companies. While not the largest breach of personal data ever, it's arguably one of the most severe due to the nature of the data. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, in a statement.