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nsucurrent.com September 26, 2017


FTC Probing Equifax After Massive Data Breach

15 September 2017, 12:35 | Ruby West

FTC Probing Equifax After Massive Data Breach

Regarding Equifax | Make Credit Freezes Free In Illinois

In its earlier statements, Equifax had only revealed that it became aware of the breach on July 29, but didn't share exactly when the security breach had occurred.

Equifax says the information accessed in this breach includes names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver's license numbers.

"The FTC typically does not comment on ongoing investigations", Peter Kaplan, the FTC's acting director of public affairs, said in a statement.

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.

On Thursday morning, the Federal Trade Commission published a bulletin titled "Equifax isn't calling", and warned people to beware of phone calls impersonating credit bureau staff. Apache Struts software is especially time-consuming to update because each application needs to be fixed individually. The two-month gap between when the patch was issued and when the attackers breached Equifax's network was a particularly risky time, as hackers began immediately exploiting the flaw on websites that didn't apply the fix, according to technology website Ars Technica. But a delay of several months to remove a high-priority vulnerability is generally considered a risky security practice.




"Even if you do not conduct financial transactions online, your information may be at risk", said Wiessmann.

More than 400 million accounts were affected by a breach disclosed last year at the hookup site Adult Friend Finder, and other firms affected in recent years included Heartland Payment Systems and retail giant Target. In announcing the incident on September 7, Equifax initially blamed a "website application" that it didn't identify.

However, it isn't immediately clear if the hackers attacked the company before the flaw was discovered and subsequently patched up by Apache.

Rene Gielen, vice president at the Apache Software Foundation, said in an email Thursday that the group doesn't have reliable information on how long it takes companies to apply patches for vulnerabilities.

"We've added an FAQ to our website to confirm that enrolling in the free credit file monitoring and identity theft protection that we are offering as part of this cybersecurity incident does not waive any rights to take legal action", according to the Equifax website. That's, uh, not a good look for Equifax's data security team.



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