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Equifax Hack Breaches Millions Of More Customers Than Initially Thought

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Eric Lieberman Deputy Editor

Equifax announced Monday that at least 2 million more customers may have been affected by a security breach, raising an original rough estimate of 143 million people to approximately 145.5 million.

Mandiant, the cybersecurity firm hired to conduct a forensic investigation, did not identify any proof of new activity, according to Equifax.

“I was advised Sunday that the analysis of the number of consumers potentially impacted by the cybersecurity incident has been completed, and I directed that the results be promptly released,” newly appointed interim CEO Paulino do Rego Barros, Jr., said in the press release. “Our priorities are transparency and improving support for consumers. I will continue to monitor our progress on a daily basis.”

Cyber criminals infiltrated the corporation’s website application and leaked personal information such as names, birth dates, addresses, social security numbers, and for some, drivers licenses and credit card numbers.

Potential issues weren’t just centered around the massive hack itself, as a number of other details unfolded during the aftermath.

Three high-ranking executives, including the chief financial officer, 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 The Daily Caller News Foundation. “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 tried to help customers find out if they were affected by the breach, but accidentally sent them to a phony site in September. Also, the company’s terms and conditions contract, as well as the website set up for virtual assistance, both had stipulations written in the fine print that said receiving any help may legally waive their right to a lawsuit.

The now-dismissed chief security officer allegedly had a music composition degree, rather than a formal certificate in computer science, cybersecurity, or something pursuant to protecting virtual systems. (RELATED: Roughly Half Of People Click On Infected Links Even After Knowing Risks)

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, a Democrat, and Congress both are investigating the company and incident.

“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.”

Former-CEO Richard Smith, who stepped down in disgrace, said in the public disclosure that it was “clearly a disappointing event.” He is set to testify Tuesday in front of Congress.

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