Equifax identifies flaw hackers exploited in breach

Elizabeth Warren

In an updated statement on its Equifax Security website, it said that it has been "intensely investigating the scope of the intrusion with the assistance of a leading, independent cybersecurity firm to determine what information was accessed and who has been impacted" and the firm determined that the attackers exploited the website application vulnerability. It learned of the hacking on July 29.

In an unusual move, the Federal Trade Commission confirmed on Thursday that it has opened a probe into the Equifax debacle, which may have compromised the personal information of as many as 143 million Americans.

The Federal Trade Commission says scammers are calling people up claiming to be from Equifax and asking to verify account information.

Equifax made a number of severe errors in handling the breach, beginning wth apparent insider trading by Equifax executives more than a month before the breach was made public. In addition, credit card numbers for approximately 209,000 USA consumers, and certain credit dispute documents with personal identifying information for approximately 182,000 US consumers, were accessed. "We know that criminals exploited a USA website application vulnerability".

Equifax also faces growing pressure from Congress.

The data collected by the cyber-thieves contained a trove private information including names, birth dates, Social Security numbers, addresses and driver's licenses of consumers. Getting an account statement for an account that you did not authorize is an indication that an individual may be the victim of identity theft.

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According to Reuters: "The FTC typically does not comment on ongoing investigations".

However, Equifax Canada's customer service agents have told callers that only Canadians who have had dealings in the United States are likely to have had their information compromised in the data breach.

Maura Healey, the attorney general of MA, said this week she intends to file the first state lawsuit against Equifax over the breach.

Visit equifaxsecurity2017.com to check if your personal data has been affected.

Communications expert Warren Weeks believes Equifax could not have handled this issue in a worse way.

The credit monitoring company's call centre staff said that Canadians who have Equifax accounts in the US could be at risk of having their data compromised, such as those who have lived, worked or applied for credit south of the border.

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