Data Breach At Equifax Prompts A National Class-Action Suit

from WaPo

The scenario that personal finance and credit experts feared most about the heist of consumer data from Equifax may already be underway: Criminals are using the stolen information to apply for mortgages, credit cards and student loans, and tapping into bank debit accounts, filing insurance claims and racking up substantial debts, according to a major new class-action suit.

The suit pulls together dozens of individual complaints from consumers in all 50 states plus the District and suggests that cybercriminals aren’t wasting time using the Social Security numbers, credit card accounts, driver’s license numbers and other sensitive personal information they siphoned out of the credit bureau’s reputedly secure databases on 145.5 million Americans.

Filed in federal district court in Equifax’s home territory of Atlanta, the suit is intended to create a single, giant national class action against the company. It alleges violations of federal and state laws and cites claims by more than 50 individual plaintiffs whose information was hacked that significant financial damage already is occurring. A few examples:

More here.

Posted in Law, Privacy and tagged , , , , , .

2 Comments

  1. Everyone knows that credit bureaus can be hacked, though you feel safe giving them personal information. Being one of the biggest credit bureaus, this breach can alter over millions of identities and it can put these millions of people in crucial debt. This affects the ones who are being breached and finding opened credits cards on their credit report causing an outburst of fraud which can lead to lawsuits. Cybersecurity should be more authentic within software so these cases would exist minimum to none. Because technology is advancing worldwide, cyberattack is becoming more common and as computers and cellphones are becoming more smarter, the act of hacking is enhancing and the people who are committing these acts are realizing how easy it is to do so.
    Knowing that it is easy to hack the credit bureau system, the hacker will move on and hack another system; which means more personal information will be stolen. One thing that could’ve prevented this breach is strong cyber security. This breach is a prime example of why cybersecurity is the most effective enterprise for companies. Cybersecurity prevents data breaches like the Equifax case, so why didn’t the cybersecurity Equifax has catch any kind of unauthorized use? Equifax should have an IT team that could have caught the breach before any information was stolen.
    There are many ways a breach can be prevented; Equifax should’ve used these methods and can use any of these methods for future breaches. One prevention that they could’ve used was safeguard data. For example, locking personal information or sensitive records on a specific hardware so it will be harder for a hacker to access information. Another prevention method could be to train employees on what breaches are and how to handle the situation. Not every employee knows what to do in a data breach situation, so the employees could help out with the IT team. With everyone knowing how to handle this type of situation, it won’t fall on only the IT team. Equifax could also secure all of the computers. The main use of the hacker successfully breaching through Equifax was most likely through the computers. If each computer is encrypted or implemented with password protection, it could help prevent any hacker from trying to hack the system. The last method that I believe could help prevent any breaches in the future is keeping the security software up to date. Cybersecurity protects the company from these situations so Equifax should take advantage of it.
    This breach created a lot of lawsuits because information was being used wrongfully by hackers who hacked into the Equifax system, but there were many options of preventive controls that Equifax could’ve used to prevent this. I understand that people are learning how to hack when new technology is being made, but that’s why the company should find an even better way to protect itself. Nowadays anyone and anything can be hacked if you know how to do it, but this data breach could have been prevented if Equifax had proper cybersecurity and had proper preventive methods to abide by.

  2. As we have seen in recent years, in the age of social media and rapid growth of technology, security has become a bigger issue. In a world where information can be accessed in a matter of seconds from pretty much anywhere in the world (for the most part) it becomes very easy to heavily rely on this technology to help get you through your day. The problem with all of this easy technology, there are people who access your personal information with the right tools and determination. The Equifax breach is probably the best and most recent breach of personal data on that type of scale. 145 million Americans now have their personal data including social security numbers, credit card information and other personal information out on the dark web and that bring us to this argument, who should be responsible for these breeches especially when trying to combat these individuals online. Cyber security has been the answer to try to stop the theft of personal information but it seems like a never ending battle as the individuals who are trying to steal this information seem to be a step ahead of cyber security which can be costly as we have seen with what happened to Equifax. Companies need to find a way to prevent hackers from stealing their information because not only can it hold these companies liable for any damages resulting from the stolen information but it will also have consumers lose trust in these companies which can have a negative impact on these companies in the long run. Cyber security will be the driving force of securing personal information and hopefully in the near future it can be perfected to the point where hacks are very rare but until then I think that people should be very cautious where they are posting personal information that would prevent them from being vulnerable in the event of another massive hack.

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