Senators are shocked that Equifax was just awarded a federal contract

Senators are shocked that Equifax was just awarded a federal contract

Senators are shocked that Equifax was just awarded a federal contract

"As far as protection to the consumer, as far as ability to lock and unlock as opposed to freeze and unfreeze, the lock is far more consumer friendly", Smith said.

Smith challenged Equifax competitors TransUnion and Experian to come up with a similar system. On Monday, Equifax announced Mandiant completed its forensic investigation and revised the number of people impacted by the hack.

"These are honorable men who followed the protocol that was outlined by the organization", Smith said. Smith will also testify later at a Senate Judiciary subcommittee on privacy.

The former CEO of Equifax, Rick Smith, sat in the hot seat Tuesday morning as lawmakers peppered him with questions and criticisms. The Mandiant forensic review added nearly 2.5 million to the estimated list of American customers, pushing the total figure up to a massive 145.5 million people altogether.

In response to often pointed questions from committee members, Smith insisted the delay was because he and his top executives, despite an August 2 decision to call in King & Spalding and notify the Federal Bureau of Investigation, knew only that "suspicious activity" had been detected on one of the company's internet portals, not that their data banks of consumer information had been accessed.

Some Congressional committee members said it should spur stronger data protection laws and prompt the United States to rethink the role of credit agencies.

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Warren said this business mix creates a conflict of interest by making Equifax responsible for protecting consumer data while allowing it to profit from consumers' attempts to mitigate the breach.

The hearing was a bit odd, as many members asked probing questions about what Equifax will do going forward to make consumers whole, but Smith is no longer employed by the firm.

In the weeks since September 7, when Equifax first disclosed the compromise, a number of key leaders have left the company. He didn't inquire whether personal data was stolen and insisted that at that time there was no indication of a breach. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) said in the hearing, according to The Los Angeles Times.

Hackers, who quickly recognized the vulnerability, despite a team of 225 cybersecurity experts at one of the largest credit reporting agencies failing to do so, started to access the sensitive information on March 13th and continued to do so over a period of months. Rep. Ryan Costello, R-Pa., said hundreds of constituents have contacted his office about the company's response. Equifax says that it will be mailing written notices to all of these consumers.

Equifax's board said it is investigating other members of its executive team, including its chief financial officer and general counsel, for selling stock after the breach's discovery, but before its public disclosure. The company said a review of the impact on British consumers was still being analyzed.

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