Senator Warren criticizes Equifax potential to profit from breach


Credit reporting in the USA is dominated by three large companies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion), and Equifax is arguably the powerhouse of the bunch.

The company is still investigating why the subsequent scan did not detect the vulnerability, but written testimony indicates it took place the following week, on March 15th.

Smith blamed human and technological errors, which can't be eradicated.

Smith's replacement, Paulino do Rego Barros Jr., has also apologized for the hack and said the company will help customers freeze their credit records and monitor any misuse.

Smith said the security lapse could have been prevented if the "individual" had properly administered the software fixes to protect the sensitive data from hackers, The New York Times reported. On Wednesday, Smith will testify twice - before the Senate Banking Committee and a Senate Judiciary subcommittee on privacy. The character occasionally donned a monocle and dabbed the forehead with giant paper money while seated behind former Equifax CEO Richard Smith.

The Internal Revenue Service signed a $7.25 million contract with Equifax on September 29.

While millions of additional US consumers may have been affected by the breach, the review found no evidence that hackers accessed databases outside the USA, which nixes previous estimates that as many as 100,000 Canadian citizens had been impacted. The company also said it would update its own notification for people who want to check if they were among those affected by October 8.

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Rep. Greg Walden, the Republican chairman of the House subcommittee, pledged Tuesday to hold Equifax and Smith accountable. He said hearings before four House and Senate panels this week should run their course before lawmakers make a decision about what to do next.

Some Congressional committee members said it should spur stronger data protection laws and prompt the United States to rethink the role of credit agencies.

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.

The company said hackers found the weakness and exploited it to gain access to names, Social Security numbers and other sensitive personal information.

Equifax has recommended that consumers enter some identifying details into a website it set up in the aftermath of the hack to determine whether they were affected.

Eschoo also wanted to bring in former Chief Information Officer Dave Webb, who also retired from Equifax last month, saying, "I don't think that this is resolved".

"Because of this breach, consumers will spend the rest of their lives worrying about identity theft", Warren said.