Congress, NY Attorney General To Investigate Massive Equifax Breach

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Eric Lieberman Managing Editor
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New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said Friday he will investigate the massive credit reporting firm Equifax, after it announced a data breach potentially affecting 143 million U.S. customers, according to CNBC.

Congress will also look into the incident and the underlying circumstances, according to Reuters. The U.S. House Financial Services Committee is expected to hold a hearing on the matter at an undetermined date.

“This is obviously a very serious and very troubling situation,” said Republican Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Texas, who chairs the committee, Reuters reports. “And our committee has already begun preparations for a hearing. Large-scale security breaches are becoming all too common.”

The Daily Caller News Foundation spoke to several security experts who implied the details surrounding this specific ordeal — which are so far sparse — are relatively damning. Three high-ranking executives, for example, sold nearly $1.8 million worth of stock just days after the company detected the large-scale data breach, according to Bloomberg.

“The stock sale certainly raises questions,” Dimitri Sirota, co-founder and CEO of BigID, an identity data protection software company, told TheDCNF. “Most US states have breach reporting requirements which means that at least the general counsel or the executive leadership would have to be informed and aware.”

Equifax was also reportedly being hacked for roughly two months before finally noticing July 29.

George Avetisov, CEO of HYPR, a biometric security firm, says the infiltration is not surprising due to the way Equifax manages its customers’ information.

“This breach is archetypical example of how centralizing sensitive data inevitably leads to an event of this magnitude,” Avetisov told TheDCNF. “When data is stored centrally, as it often still is, it’s not a matter of if, but when it will be breached.”

Schneiderman, in a a direct letter to Equifax, wants more information from the Atlanta-based company.

“The Equifax breach has potentially exposed sensitive personal information of nearly everyone with a credit report, and my office intends to get to the bottom of how and why this massive hack occurred,” the New York attorney general said. “I encourage all New Yorkers to immediately call Equifax to see if their data was compromised and to consider additional measures to protect themselves.”

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the federal department that enforces business regulations, along with other authoritative agencies, investigated Yahoo over allegations it didn’t notify investors about its massive data breaches soon enough. (RELATED: Advanced Cybersecurity: The Simple Password May Soon Become Obsolete)

New York law requires businesses to promptly tell any consumers if their personal information was compromised.

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