wnol.info January 19 2018

Equifax CEO Quits After Massive Data Breach

January 19 2018, 01:46 | Irvin Gilbert

Among the data stolen in the Equifax breach were the credit card numbers of about 209,000 people. Credit

Among the data stolen in the Equifax breach were the credit card numbers of about 209,000 people

Smith has been chairman and chief executive officer of the company since 2005.

Equifax CEO Richard Smith is out in the wake of the massive data breach at the credit reporting company.

Smith is still eligible for $18.4 million in retirement benefits, regardless of the results of the internal probe.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee said Smith, whose retirement was effective on Tuesday, would still testify before the panel on 3 October. Paulino do Rego Barros, most recently President of Asia Pacific for the company, has taken the CEO role in the interim period, but Equifax confirmed it is hiring for a full-time replacement.

Since then, the company has faced a barrage of criticism, a host of federal and state inquiries, and the threat of a multiple law suits for the hack and for its response.

The chief executive of Equifax is out after a massive data breach compromised the personal information of 143 million Americans. Of the almost four million TransUnion credit reports Credit Sesame analyzed, 0.32% had a credit freeze in place, and 7% had a fraud alert. The company's stock has lost a third of its value - a $5.5 billion setback.

"A CEO walking out the door just days before he is to appear before Congress is an abdication of his responsibility", said Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii.

The reason Equifax has so many Americans' personal information is because it's one of three major companies that track your credit card payments, mortgages, student and auto loans and more - all to establish your credit score. Even though a fix was released, Equifax did not immediately install it.

In March, vulnerability on a popular server software system used by Equifax and others was exposed by researchers and quickly exploited by hackers to gain control of entire systems that hadn't been patched.

It's not immediately clear whom Equifax will send in Smith's place to face lawmakers' wrath. The three who sold shares, including Equifax's chief financial officer, are under scrutiny. Consumers should monitor their credit, seek free credit reports, be vigilant for suspicious activity and in some cases may want to institute a credit freeze to make it more hard for criminals to open a credit card or a bank account in their name.

The boss of Equifax Inc.

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