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Fallout from Equifax debacle continues apace

Paul Brislen, Editor. 11 September 2017, 7:02 am

Some say it's not the problems that occur but the putting them right that counts. Sadly, with the Equifax data breach, the company is failing on both points.

Equifax, a US-based credit checking service, has managed to expose 145 million mostly US-based accounts to the world in a massive data breach that potentially impacts half the US working population. This information includes all the data any hacker would need to destroy a user's credit rating and has sparked a massive rush to check or freeze customers' credit ratings including names, social security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver's licence details.

Sadly, Equifax has also badly fumbled the putting it right component, firstly by publishing a site that allowed users to check to see if their data had been compromised, but only after indemnifying the company against any future legal action, and then by having a checker that seemingly returns random results regardless off what is typed in to the search engine.

And to make matters worse, three Equifax executives have allegedly been caught dumping shares in the days before the breach was made public, something that must breach even the fairly light-handed regulations in the US.

Unsurprisingly, legal sharks are now circling the beleaguered US company and various regulators and law enforcement branches are sifting through the wreckage.

While the fallout appears, at this stage, to be contained to the US market, there is every possibility it extends further, thanks to Equifax's other business lines.

While the company is best known for its credit checking service, Equifax is the parent company for 57 brands that may also be compromised and anyone having any dealings with those companies may also be at risk.

Locally, users can check their own credit ratings online via a number of various services, the easiest of which (and one that this editor writes for) is Credit Simple.


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