Equifax Breach: Lessons For Indian Companies

Equifax Breach: Lessons For Indian Companies

What was even more shocking about this news is the statement from the agency that the intrusion begun in May and continued until it was finally discovered in late July. Data that was accessed by the hackers included names, birthdays, addresses, and social security numbers. In this totally hypothetical scenario, the theft would be comprehensive-including enough details to do real damage to those whose data had been exposed-and would involve a company that wasn't widely recognized as a security risk.

Equifax, one of the three major consumer credit reporting agencies, said on Thursday that a data breach left Social Security numbers, driver's license numbers and other sensitive information for 143 million United States consumers vulnerable to hackers.

In the last few months, they have been expanding their microfinance offerings, and partnered with the International Finance Corporation to "deepen coverage" of credit reports of Self-Help Groups in India.

More information about the data breach surfaced Friday including details about three Equifax Inc. senior executives who sold shares worth nearly $1.8 million in the days after the company discovered the breach. "The sheer amount of information stolen led analysts to question whether it was the work of hackers seeking to use the personal data for financial purposes, or if it was motivated by a foreign government seeking broader data on Americans". I would also encourage anyone who chooses to sign up for the services Equifax is offering to not rely exclusively on it for credit and identity protection.

Equifax is based in that city, and the court handled nationwide litigation over a 2014 breach at Atlanta-based Home Depot Inc affecting more than 50 million cardholders.

Not only is the site being flagged by various browsers as a phishing threat, but it's also returning random results.

Regular credit monitoring is also painful but important. You can request a copy of your credit report online at www.annualcreditreport.com.

If you see any unauthorized activity, immediately report it to your bank and/or credit card company.

Also, if you've signed up for the service, be aware that you'll get only one year for free, and if you don't cancel it when that year ends, Equifax will continue to provide it - and bill you for it, of course. "If any of the data was exposed, you will be living with that for the rest of your life", said Rich Mogull, who runs the security research firm Securosis.

Experts say the single most effective action potential victims can take now is to freeze their credit. A freeze stops thieves from opening new credit cards or loans in your name, but it also prevents you from opening new accounts. Here are the links to freeze your credit at Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. A freeze remains until you remove it. "What Facebook does is watch you, and then use what it knows about you and your behaviour to sell ads", he writes.

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