How Equifax Is 'Making Millions of Dollars Off Its Own Screwup'

Pauline Gross
October 12, 2017

The former CEO of Equifax, the credit reporting agency that admitted a security breach had exposed millions of customers to potential fraud and identity theft, faced sharp criticism from Sen. Apparently, Equifax knew about the vulnerabilities in its systems since March this year, but failed to address the issues on time.

"Equifax profits when consumers are victims of fraud by offering protection services so that they're able to make a buck even after data breach".

Smith's prepared remarks were similar to those written for his appearance before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Tuesday, where he claimed "full responsibility".

The recently departed CEO of Equifax faces a second round of tough questions on Wednesday from US politicians eager to hear about what he and company executives knew about the breach - and when.

"The people affected by this are not numbers in a database".

"I was advised Sunday that the analysis of the number of consumers potentially impacted by the cybersecurity incident has been completed, and I directed the results be promptly released", said Equifax interim CEO Paulino do Rego Barros, Jr.

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Smith's 12-year tenure at Equifax came to a stunning end last week when he abruptly retired, replaced in the interim by Paulino do Rego Barros Jr., an executive from the company's Asia Pacific division. He informed the company's lead director three weeks later, on August 22, and board meetings were held on the matter August 24 and 25. John Neely Kennedy put it colorfully: "You realize to many Americans right now that it looks like we're giving Lindsay Lohan the keys to the mini bar".

In another exchange, Smith said he had "no indication of a breach" prior to the date of the stock sales, only of "suspicious activity".

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

He also said he did not believe minors, whose information could be listed under their parents, were breached.

Smith noted that in addition to his departure, the company's chief information officer and chief security officer also left the company following the breach.

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