The U.S. scoring company Equifax settled several lawsuits related to the hacking and data loss two years ago with an out of court settlement. It pays damages of at least 600 million dollars. The agreement relates to legal action by the Federal Trade Commission, several states, and a class action lawsuit filed by consumers.
In addition, on January 2020 consumers will receive six free credit reports every year for a period of seven years. So far, those affected have only been entitled to a total free credit report. Eventually, Equifax committed to paying an additional 165 million to 48 states.
In 2017, Equifax granted a hacker attack in which data from at least 145 million US citizens was stolen. The perpetrators entered the company’s systems, triggering the largest data theft in US history. The break-in was favored among other things, because Equifax had failed to install a security patch that had been available for two months. For Equifax, the incident had significant consequences in addition to the payments that were now agreed. The former CEO stepped down in 2017. Equifax also invested several hundred million dollars in improving its own IT security and cybersecurity insurance. As a further consequence, the company’s credit rating was even deteriorated.
What Is The Risk From The Equifax Hack?
The Equifax data leak is unlike any you may have heard of. Previous incidents have always affected certain parts of people’s online identities: an Instagram account, an Apple account, maybe a credit card number – But this is the first security breach to occur in a place where almost everyone is essential.
Am I Affected By The Equifax Data Abuse?
You can’t say that for sure. Equifax has set up a website where you can enter part of your social security number to see if you are affected. Yes, the company that did not protect important data asks you to provide more of it to see if it affects you. And the worst: Several researchers have pointed out that the system not only appears unsafe, it could also act as a pure delay tactic for the company.