Equifax Could Make $700M Off Its Own Hack, Says Senator

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Criminals took advantage of a "U.S. website application vulnerability to gain access to certain files" from mid-May through July of this year, Equifax said. To make things even worse, credit card numbers for approximately 209,000 USA consumers, and certain dispute documents with personal identifying information for approximately 182,000 US consumers, were pilfered.

Stock prices fell almost 14 percent for the Atlanta-based credit monitoring agency Equifax on Friday. Unlike most other data breaches, many of those affected may not even know their information is held by Equifax.

"We are engaged in a process that will provide consumers a randomly generated PIN". However, if hackers have all of an individual's personal information, they also have all the information needed to unfreeze an account. He also suggested that New Yorkers might "consider placing a credit freeze on your files". Chief among the questions lawmakers and consumer regulators are raising is whether the credit-reporting bureaus are subject to enough oversight. Equifax has acknowledged that the data breach was discovered on July 29.

Consumers must create credit freezes separately at each of the three credit bureaus, which along with Equifax includes Experian and Transunion (TRU).

When announcing the breach, Equifax offered customers the option of signing up for a free credit card monitoring and identity theft insurance service, called Trusted ID for a year. The danger is that cyber hoods will use the data to make purchases or establish credit that get billed to victims - people like you, perhaps you yourself.

The former New Jersey deputy attorney general, Joel Winston explained that the contractual obligations are negated simply because someone from the Equifax marketing department wrote that the original terms of service will no longer apply. "If you have a credit report, chances are you may be in this breach".

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Equifax says it has found no evidence of activity on Equifax's core consumer or commercial credit reporting databases.

"It's far from a flawless solution - freezing and unfreezing isn't slick - but short of changing your SSN and date of birth it's probably your best protection".

It can range from $2 to $12 to initiate and then lift a credit freeze, depending on which state a person lives in. Within four days of the hack, however, a number of high-up Equifax executives, including Equifax Chief Financial Officer John Gamble; President for US information solutions Joseph Loughran; and President of workforce solutions Rodolfo Ploder sold shares at high prices. Use your smart phone as a secondary log-in to Equifax or any of your financial, social media or other accounts that are password-protected.

Tirelli and Merino's lawyers, of the firm DannLaw, claim their information was compromised in the high tech data attack.

Equifax spokesperson told The Guardianand Gizmodo that the executives had "no knowledge" of the breach at the time they sold their shares.