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2.5 million more consumers affected, ex-CEO faces Congress

05 October 2017, 12:53 | Gina Pena

2.5 million more consumers affected, ex-CEO faces Congress

After the data breach, the IRS hired Equifax to handle taxpayer information

Equifax Chairman and former CEO Richard Smith testified before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs on October 4.

Smith said this particular sale opened after the second quarter earnings call and was in line with normal behavior.

Later, Smith conceded that it was a "mistake" to include language for a credit monitoring system that would force customers into arbitration if they wanted to sue the company.

Smith said in prepared remarks to a House panel that the company on March 9 circulated an internal memo warning about a software flaw identified by the government's Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT).

The colossal data breach also led to several top-level resignations at the renowned consumer credit reporting agency, which includes the chief security officer, the chief information officer, and the chief executive officer.

Smith said security personnel noticed suspicious activity on July 29 and disabled the web application on July 30, ending the hacking.

Before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee hearing began, a young person put on a black top hat, bushy white mustache and bright red bow tie.

"Can you explain to the American people, not just as consumers who have been exposed and breached here, but as taxpayers, why in the world should you get a no-bid contract right now?" Sen.

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That didn't stop the committee from thrashing Smith and Equifax's failure to protect user data.

"All the folks in the executive suite had no clue, but they were the luckiest investors on August 1 to sell the stock at the best price to net $655,000 - this was pure luck and nothing else?" a baffled Scott asked former Equifax CEO and Chairman Richard Smith. "How does this happen?' Walden said".

Hackers seem to have made their entry between mid-May and end of July. The company said it would update the database with the names of the additional millions of potentially affected consumers by October 8. "I don't think we can pass a law that fixes stupid".

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau officials have said the agency should embed more regulators at the three largest USA credit-rating firms to monitor cybersecurity - a plan endorsed Tuesday by Representative Jan Schakowsky.

In part of the ongoing investigation into the Equifax security breach, private security firm Mandiant has finished its first round of forensic data collection and analysis.

In addition to Congressional inquiries, Equifax faces a number of state and federal probes related to the hack. The company said a review of the impact on British consumers was still being analyzed. "That's all I'll say".

The vulnerability was used by hackers to access the personal data of 145.5 million americans. Barros will also receive a one-time grant of $1.5 million in Equifax stock and will be eligible for at least $372,000 in additional compensation for performance.

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