Equifax, one of the largest credit-reporting company, has become the victim of a massive cyber breach. The cyber attack resulted in the leak of sensitive information of nearly half the U.S population. The identity of the individuals involved in the hack has not been determined. Equifax is currently working with cyber security firms and law enforcement authorities to contain the situation.
The company discovered the data breach on July 29. According to the investigation, hackers exploited a vulnerability in a U.S website to access files. The number of affected consumers totals around 143 million. The information compromised includes social security numbers, birth dates, and driver license numbers. Furthermore, the company stated that 209,000 U.S credit cards and 182,000 dispute documents containing consumer information had also been pilfered.
Following the discovery of the breach, three senior Equifax executives sold aggregate of almost $1.8 million in company shares. According to a statement made by a company spokesperson, the three executives had no idea the breach happened at the time the shares were sold. Of course they would not know; Being the top brass of Equifax means they are too busy to notice the company’s largest data breach ever. Nothing suspicious here, move along. As a side note, Equifax share value fell by 13 percent after the announcement of the breach.
While this breach might not be the largest one in history, it might turn out to be the most significant one to have ever happened in the U.S. To begin with, the number of consumers affected amounts to nearly half the population of the country. Secondly, the sensitive information stolen can have a severe impact on the lives of affected individuals. A person who has your social security number and address has a significant gateway to commit identity theft and fraud. Equifax’s CEO and Chairman Rick Smith stated the company would provide a package of identity theft protection and credit monitoring at no cost.