Consumer Expert Says Equifax Hackers Are Likely Identity Thieves


Equifax actually figured out it had been hacked back in July, and apparently spent the time since setting up a site to respond to it and let people check if they are affected.

"This is about as bad as it gets", Pamela Dixon, executive director of the World Privacy Forum, tells the New York Times.

Richard Smith, chief executive of Equifax, said that the breach - which is one of the largest ever reported in the U.S. - was, er, "disappointing". Much better techniques exist to identify and safeguard sensitive information online, she says.

"All told, the number of American consumers affected constitutes about 44% of the US population", NPR's Colin Dwyer points out.

"This is clearly a disappointing event for our company, and one that strikes at the heart of who we are and what we do".

As if having a storm the size of France on its way wasn't enough to be going on with, Americans learned late Thursday that Equifax lost to hackers valuable identity information on about half the adults in the country.

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The shares that were sold total nearly $1.8 million and the stock dump took place in the days following the discovery of the security breach but prior to the company announcing the hack.

This isn't the first time Equifax has been involved in a serious data breach. They are focusing on consumer's protection right now.

Law enforcement officials have been notified and Equifax has hired a "leading cyber-security firm to conduct a forensic review to determine the scope of the intrusion", Equifax CEO Smith tells us in the video.

Ines Gutzmer, the spokeswoman for Equifac Inc. confirmed the news and declared that the trio had no knowledge of the intrusion when they sold their stocks. None of the filings lists the transactions as being part of 10b5-1 scheduled trading plans.

Then, on August 2, Equifax's president of workforce solutions Rodolfo Ploder also sold some stock (1,719 shares), to the tune of $250,458. Information of some United Kingdom and Canadian residents was also gained in the hack, Equifax said.