Trey Johnson – Reporter
In the past four months, hundreds of millions of Americans have potentially had personal, medical and financial information leaked without their knowledge.
Equifax is the second largest credit reporting agency in the United States, only passed by Experian. On Thursday, September 7, 2017, the company announced that in May and July, hackers were able to access the company’s information of up to 143 million Americans. Thieves were able to access any material stored on the website including addresses, birth dates, credit card numbers, medical records and more.
According to Equifax, the leak was caused by a vulnerability in the website’s software. Equifax has a history of breaches and security issues. This includes a report released shortly after the announcement was made which revealed that the Argentine branch of Equifax used “admin” as the password to many accounts on its website.
The company discovered the breach on July 29 and has only now made the announcement in September. Around the time the breach was discovered by the company, three executives sold their stock in the company although the company claims the executives had no prior knowledge of the hack. They made around $2 million collectively from the sale.
The Federal Trade Commission, the FBI and the New York Attorney General have opened investigations into the hack. However, this will not undo the potential damage done to millions of Americans lives.