Published: Thu, October 12, 2017
Global | By Shelia Dennis

Equifax says only 8000 Canadians affected by data breach

Equifax says only 8000 Canadians affected by data breach

Former Equifax CEO Richard Smith apologized to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on Tuesday for a massive data breach reported by the company this summer. "I'm truly and deeply sorry for what happened", he said in his opening remarks.

The hack, first disclosed last month, compromised a wealth of personal data including names, birthdays, addresses and social security numbers - as well as credit card numbers for more than 200,000 people.

"It appears that the breach occurred because of both human error and technology failures", Smith said.

"They're just raking in the money, even when they let your information get stolen", she said.

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Meanwhile, Warren rebuked Smith for a talk he gave in August in which he called fraud "a huge opportunity for the company", suggesting that the breach of 145 million Americans' personal data may have benefited Equifax.

Smith said Equifax has 225 individuals devoted to cybersecurity and the company has invested almost a quarter of a billion dollars in security over the past couple of years.

"The Finance Committee will be looking into why Equifax was the only company to apply for and be rewarded with this".

Equifax first notified the public of the security breach on September 7, though it said the unauthorized access is thought to have happened from May 13 to July 30, with Equifax's security team catching the hack on July 29.

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"All the folks in the executive suite had no clue, but they were the luckiest investors on August 1 to sell the stock at the best price to net $655,000 - this was pure luck and nothing else?" a baffled Scott asked former Equifax CEO and Chairman Richard Smith. Representative Greg Walden said to Smith. "As this important phase of our work is now completed, we continue to take numerous steps to review and enhance our cybersecurity practices", said Barros. He resigned after the breach was announced. Smith said that fix was not applied quickly enough.

Equifax is trying to help consumers while also fixing its security systems, he said.

In regards to the three company executives that sold almost $2 million worth of stock on Aug.1 and August 2, just days after the company discovered there had been some sort of "suspicious activity", Smith said, to the best of his knowledge, these executives were unaware of the cyber intrusion.

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