Cyber SecurityJuly 29, 20210The Experian Hack: One Of The Biggest Modern Data Breaches

Many cybersecurity experts and analysts criticized the way that Equifax dealt with the cybersecurity breach. They also pointed out that Equifax has dealt with previous data breaches, and should have taken more steps to safeguard consumer information. Equifax apparently knew about the cybersecurity breach in July 2017.

When we speak about some of the most significant data breaches in recent history, there is no way that cybersecurity experts or analysts would leave out the Experian hack. The Equifax data breach occurred in 2017, and the personal data of around 147 million Americans were compromised.

Equifax handles data for over 820 million consumers and over 91 businesses worldwide. There was a public outcry over the fact that the agency had mishandled the personal information of so many consumers. Many politicians and cybersecurity experts also criticized the company for the Experian hack.

 

About Equifax

One of the reasons this is considered a historic data breach is not just because it was one of the biggest data breaches in history but also because the cybercriminals decided to target Equifax. Equifax is one of the largest consumer credit reporting agencies in the country for those who might be unaware. It’s also a multinational company with over 11,000 employees. Equifax is considered one of the “Big Three” credit reporting agencies, along with

Equifax was originally founded in Atlanta in 1899. The company had files on millions of American and Canadian citizens by the 1960s, and already boasted offices throughout the U.S. and Canada by the 1920s. The credit reporting agency is headquartered in Atlanta and primarily operates in the business-to-business sector.

 

About The Data Breach

The Department of Justice concluded that Chinese hackers hacked Equifax after setting up 34 servers across 20 countries. The Equifax data breach took place between May and July 2017. The hackers were able to use a third-party software exploit that Equifax had not updated on their services. Specifically, this was the Apache Struts vulnerability that allowed hackers to

This is also one of the few incidents where the United States identified Chinese military hackers by name. The personal information that was compromised included names, addresses, birth dates, and Social Security numbers.

The data breach was disclosed by Equifax in September 2017. Once the breach was announced, the company’s shares dropped in early trading the following day. There were several class action lawsuits filed over the next several days by various law firms. Geragos and Geragos claimed that they were seeking up to $70 billion in damages.

 

The Equifax Hack Consequences

At the time, Richard Smith, the CEO of Equifax, resigned within a month of the Equifax data breach. Pamela Dixon, the executive director of the World Privacy Forum, stated that “this was as bad as it gets” when it comes to overall cybersecurity threats. Several executives sold around $1.8 million in stock once the Equifax hack was discovered. The SEC charged a former Equifax executive with insider trading, as well.

Equifax launched a website so that consumers could check whether their information was affected by the cyberattack. Equifax eventually took down even this website due to the fact that Equifax made several basic cybersecurity mistakes. Equifax ended up offering consumers the ability to freeze their credit reports. Lawmakers also called for stricter regulations regarding credit reporting agencies. The U.S. Internal Revenue Service also suspended a $7.2 million contract once the breach was announced.

Many cybersecurity experts and analysts criticized the way that Equifax dealt with the cybersecurity breach. They also pointed out that Equifax has dealt with previous data breaches, and should have taken more steps to safeguard consumer information. Equifax apparently knew about the cybersecurity breach in July 2017.

 

The Equifax Settlement

Equifax eventually agreed to the largest data breach settlement in history. The New York Attorney General Letitia James pointed out that Equifax put “profits over people and greed over people.” Equifax agreed to pay between $575 million and $700 million as part of a global settlement with the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and the 50 states of the United States.

Equifax had negotiated the data breach settlement for months and set aside $690 million the previous quarter to cover the costs. The settlement allowed victims to choose between 10 years of free credit report monitoring or a cash payout of up to $125. However, there were additional hurdles later established for victims trying to claim that money.

 

About Malimar

Malimar Technology Group boasts a group of expert IT professionals and cybersecurity experts to help protect your business from cyberattacks such as the one mentioned above. The Equifax hack remains one of the most high-profile cybersecurity breaches in recent history. It remains a reminder that your business and organization should ensure that it is safe from cybersecurity risks, threats, and vulnerabilities.

Malimar can help guide your organization to prevent cyberattacks in the future and offer seamless remote support to our clients regarding their IT needs. We are one of the top cybersecurity companies in the San Diego area and offer services such as server/PC management, strategic IT planning, and server backup solutions.

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