Cybersecurity Digest

Equifax Hack impacts Millions as Lawsuits Loom and Stocks Plummet

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Equifax Leak Impacts Nearly Half of Americans

An estimated 143 million Americans may have had their Social Security numbers (SSNs) and other sensitive information stolen after a record-breakingly large breach at Equifax. The breach was discovered on July 29 and announced last week.

“This is clearly a disappointing event for our company, and one that strikes at the heart of who we are and what we do,” chairman and chief executive officer Richard F. Smith said in a press release. “I apologize to consumers and our business customers for the concern and frustration this causes.”

Some 209,000 credit card numbers and personal information of 182,000 consumers were stolen in addition to the SSNs. It is thought to be the largest security breach this year, ahead of hacks at OneLogin and the Kansas voter registration system.

Equifax Aftermath, How to Protect Yourself

Equifax set up a website for consumers to find out if their personal information was potentially hacked and to set up future credit monitoring. The monitoring service lasts one year, so consumers should consider followup precautions.

“Check for notifications to see if new credit applications have been filed on your behalf, and monitor your accounts for adverse action,” Mark Testoni, president of SAP National Security Services, told Wired. “If your details are circulated on the black market, the big risks are fraudulent credit applications on your behalf and bad actors trying to find ways to take advantage of your personal [data].”

Some questions quickly arose, as consumers wondered if utilizing the site could waive any possibility for a future class action lawsuit. But Equifax has updated its site’s terms of service to assure this is not the case.

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Equifax Stock Plummets, Lawsuits Ahead

Equifax stock plunged 18 percent since the hack was announced. And experts are expecting an additional 15 percent to 20 percent dip over the next five weeks.

It was also revealed that three senior executives at Equifax, including its CFO, sold nearly $2 million worth of stock days after the hack was discovered back in July. The company claims the executives had not yet been informed of the breach.

The three men are CFO John Gamble, president of U.S. information solutions Joseph Loughra, and president of workforce solutions Rodolfo Ploder. If evidence shows they knew of the breach, serious insider trading charges could be filed.

Equifax also faces a class-action lawsuit asking “fair compensation” for funds lost and other expenses consumers must take to ensure their finances are not affected.

Video of the Week

EQUIFAX | Rick Smith, Chairman and CEO of Equifax, on Cybersecurity Incident Involving Consumer Data

Twitter Follow of the Week

The account covers both UK and global security news. Much of this is unique content offered on its blog, but news from external sources is included as well. The non-automated account can be helpful for first alerts and consumer-focused solutions.

“We intend to use the feed as an additional way of engaging with our intended audience, namely UK government, its supply chain and the Critical National Infrastructure (CNI),” the NCSC explains on its site.

Security Tool of the Week

ForgeRock | Forgerock is an identity platform for global brands, enterprises and government entities to build secure, customer-facing relationships. It provides some state of the art IoT security technology, and received $88 million in funding and expects an IPO in early 2019.

Quick Hits

  • Hackers Have Penetrated Energy Grid, Symantec Warns (Fortune)
  • Why Samsung’s Note 8 Face Lock May Not Be So Secure (Fortune)
  • A Design Flaw Makes It Easy to Hack Siri and Alexa (CO.Design)
  • The US Oil Patch Has a Serious Cybersecurity Problem (OilPrice)
  • EU Looks to Extra Spending, Diplomacy to Bolster Cybersecurity (Reuters)
  • 3 Ways AI Could Help Resolve the Cybersecurity Talent Crisis (Dark Reading)
  • Ever Wonder How a Cyber Crime Gang Operates? (NCSC)
  • Hacking Retail Gift Cards Remains Scarily Easy (Wired)
  • Google Chrome Will Soon Warn You of Software That… (BleepingComputer)
  • Lenovo Wasn’t Paying Attention: 750,000 Laptops Had Spyware (Inverse)

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