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Equifax Faces Multibillion-Dollar Lawsuit Over Hack

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Credit agency Equifax has revealed that data from 143 million customers may have been compromised in a security breach earlier this year. In the same hack attack, Equifax lost almost 209.000 consumers credit card numbers and so far the unspecified number of driver licenses, but an alleviating circumstance is that no intrusions on "core consumer or commercial credit reporting databases" at Equifax were discovered. But the site provides responses even for bogus names and numbers (such as "Trump" and "123456"), leading to questions about its accuracy.

As I predicted in my Facebook Live and Equifax web assistance story last Friday, Equifax has eliminated that goofy (and unenforceable, according to New York's attorney general) "waive your legal rights" clause from its offer of free credit monitoring in the wake of the credit bureau's massive consumer data breach. That means over half of USA adults could have had their information taken.

No matter how you slice it, that's an overwhelming amount of negative activity around Equifax's stock on a forward-looking basis.

You can consider freezing your credit reports, but it comes with some downsides. Here are the links to freeze your credit at Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

The three "sold a small percentage of their Equifax shares, " Ines Gutzmer, a spokeswoman for the Atlanta-based company, said in an emailed statement.

Meanwhile, the implied volatility spread between Equifax's stock and an exchange-traded fund tracking the benchmark S&P 500 has risen to the highest in more than six years.

Equifax has been the focus of anger and distrust, not only for the breach but over how it initially was handled.

Additionally, Equifax says it has adjusted a PIN generation for security freezes, allowing a randomly generated PIN for consumers who want to place a security freeze. Hackers utilized a United States website vulnerability to obtain access to several data. "Organized criminals, they're buying and selling this information to be used, mostly for extending credit then buying something and getting money out of the deal".

Hackers hit Equifax, a credit reporting agency that rates and tracks the financial history of consumers.

According to regulatory filings, on 1 August, chief financial officer John Gamble sold shares worth $946,374 and Joseph Loughran, president of U.S. information solutions, exercised options to dispose of stock worth $584,099.

After public pressure, Equifax added an opt-out provision on Friday. If someone else goes to take out a loan in your name, the lender will not be able to pull your report and therefore can not extend the credit.

"The only weapon consumers have is these lawsuits to get the companies to basically treat their information with the care it deserves", Weston said.

Lenders use Equifax information to determine risks in financing people's mortgages and credit cards.

The suit claims Equifax bungled its duty to protect consumers and failed to give enough notice of the breach, which was allegedly discovered on July 29, 2017. Consumers can also check their credit report for free each year at annualcreditreport.com.

Ultimately, the onus will probably be on consumers to try to protect themselves.

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