The Equifax Hack Is The Most Disastrous Data Breach In History Because Now Hackers Have The Credit Information Of 143 Million Americans

by | Sep 18, 2017 | Headline News | 38 comments

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    This report was originally published by Michael Snyder at The Economic Collapse

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    Talk about a nightmare. It is being reported that criminals were able to hack into Equifax and make off with the credit information of 143 million Americans. We are talking about names, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, home addresses and even driver’s license numbers. If this data breach was an earthquake, we would be talking about a magnitude-10.0 on the identity theft scale. We have never seen anything like this before, and to say that this will be “disastrous” for the credit industry would be a massive understatement.

    What really disturbed me about this story is that this hack reportedly occurred between “mid-May and July of this year”

    Credit monitoring company Equifax has been hit by a high-tech heist that exposed the Social Security numbers and other sensitive information about 143 million Americans. Now the unwitting victims have to worry about the threat of having their identities stolen.

    The Atlanta-based company, one of three major U.S. credit bureaus, said Thursday that “criminals” exploited a U.S. website application to access files between mid-May and July of this year.

    So why didn’t we learn about this until September?

    Somebody out there really needs to answer that question for us.

    And even though the “143 million” number is being thrown around constantly, according to USA Today we may never know the true number of victims…

    When asked if there’s a way to quantify how many people have been harmed, John Ulzheimer, a credit expert and former employee at Equifax and credit score firm FICO, said: “There’s no way to know, and there may never be a way to know.”

    Personally, I don’t see how Equifax can possibly survive after this. Their stock price is already crashing, and now it has come out that they had put a “music major” in charge of data security…

    When Congress hauls in Equifax CEO Richard Smith to grill him, it can start by asking why he put someone with degrees in music in charge of the company’s data security.

    And then they might also ask him if anyone at the company has been involved in efforts to cover up Susan Mauldin’s lack of educational qualifications since the data breach became public.

    It would be fascinating to hear Smith try to explain both of those extraordinary items.

    Also, we are now finding out that Equifax has not just had security problems here in the United States.

    According to the New York Post, data breaches have been taking place all over the globe…

    Hackers had access to the names, dates of birth and e-mail addresses of nearly 400,000 people in the United Kingdom, said Equifax’s British subsidiary in a statement last week.

    In Canada, sensitive data belonging to 10,000 consumers may have been hacked in the breach, said a statement from the Canadian Automobile Association.

    In Argentina, one of the company’s portals was so easily accessible that it allowed quick exposure to the personal information of more than 14,000 people.

    As noted above, the public didn’t learn about any of this until September.

    But once top Equifax officials learned what had happened, some of them started dumping their shares of Equifax very rapidly

    Three Equifax executives — not the ones who are departing — sold shares worth a combined $1.8 million just a few days after the company discovered the breach, according to documents filed with securities regulators.

    Equifax shares have lost a third of their value since it announced the breach.

    Needless to say, the SEC is going to be looking into this very closely.

    As we move forward, there is a tremendous amount of concern as to how much this data breach will affect the U.S. economy.

    Only time will tell, but without a doubt it will have an impact. For example, according to Bloomberg this data breach could potentially have an absolutely disastrous impact on store-branded credit cards…

    Equifax Inc.’s massive data breach could make an already tough market outlook even more daunting for the firms behind Gap Inc.’s and Ann Taylor’s store-branded credit cards.

    Those retailers’ banking partners, including Synchrony Financial and Alliance Data Systems Corp., could see fewer account originations as more consumers freeze their credit to avoid hack-related fraud. Consumers have to take extra steps — including calling the credit bureau, going online or paying fees — to lift a block and get a new card.

    “If people are defaulting to credit freezes, then if you’re a Macy’s retailer trying to sell credit cards, you can’t get that done at the point of sale,” said Vincent Caintic, an analyst at Stephens Inc. “It could become a regular thing, these freezes. It does slow down the origination process and it’s probably going to increase acquisition costs.”

    If you believe that your data may have been compromised in this breach, there are some things that you can do right away to help protect against identity theft. You can sign up for 24 hour a day credit monitoring, you can request fraud alerts, you can enable “two factor authentication” and beyond all of that you could go as far as to freeze your credit.

    But if everybody in America suddenly started freezing their credit, that would slow down economic activity dramatically. So needless to say authorities are hoping that does not happen.

    In this case, Equifax needs to step up and do the right thing. They need to inform all of the victims (even if that means reaching out to 143 million different people), and they should automatically provide free credit monitoring for all of those that were affected.

    I seriously doubt that Equifax will take these measures, and I also seriously doubt that Equifax will be able to survive much longer.

    When you bungle something as badly as Equifax has done, it is nearly impossible to restore faith in an organization. The credit information of 143 million Americans is now in the hands of criminals, and the potential damage that could be done is absolutely off the charts.

    GetPreparedNow-MichaelSnyderBarbaraFixMichael T. Snyder is a graduate of the University of Florida law school and he worked as an attorney in the heart of Washington D.C. for a number of years.Today, Michael is best known for his work as the publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog and The American Dream

    If you want to know what is coming and what you can do to prepare, read his latest book [amazon text=Get Prepared Now!: Why A Great Crisis Is Coming & How You Can Survive It&asin=150522599X].

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      38 Comments

      1. California Resident

        So why didn’t we learn about this until September?
        _____________________________________

        Because they need you to be compromised so they can implement the mark of the beast.

        It’s for your “safety and security” don’t you know.

        • Anonymous

          Famine goes hand in hand with the mark of the beast. Those taking the mark will be eating test tube grown bullshit and soylent green. Be forewarned. The Beast is rising but the door to the ark is still open.

        • Northstar

          I heard about the equifax breach on CBC awhile back. Always look for your news from multiple places to get better info earlier and weed out the fake stuff

      2. shane

        143 million in country of 323 million is most every adult, including you.

        Google ‘credit freeze’ or ‘security freeze’ for only way to protect yourself. The credit bureaus don’t like it cause it cuts into their revenue stream, but too bad for them.

        A security freeze essentially blocks any potential creditors from being able to view or “pull” your credit file, unless you affirmatively unfreeze or thaw your file beforehand. With a freeze in place on your credit file, ID thieves can apply for credit in your name all they want, but they will not succeed in getting new lines of credit in your name because few if any creditors will extend that credit without first being able to gauge how risky it is to loan to you (i.e., view your credit file). And because each credit inquiry caused by a creditor has the potential to lower your credit score, the freeze also helps protect your score, which is what most lenders use to decide whether to grant you credit when you truly do want it and apply for it.

        • The Deplorable Braveheart

          No one has any credit file on me because I’ve never been allowed to use credit for any purpose. No credit score for me because I’ve never been allowed to play the game. Allegedly my income level is too low to qualify for a credit card, loans, etc. So I don’t even have a dog in this fight.

          • Anonymous

            But you said you were management. What sort of management job pays its management such a poor salary that they can’t get credit?

            Now you you claim you don’t even earn enough to apply for basic credit. Even Mac workers can get credit! Your credibility is unraveling each time you make a comment.

            • The Deplorable Braveheart

              Anonymous, what I posted is what I’ve been told BY THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE REJECTED MY CREDIT APPLICATIONS OVER THE YEARS, GOING BACK TO THE 90S. When everyone tells you ‘no you can’t have access to credit, what the hell else can you do? The last credit app I filled out and had rejected was in 2007 just when the downturn was beginning. Say what you will about credibility but I lost interest in credit altogether back in’07. Why should I care about it now when the economy might go belly up between now and net year? As long as I can still use cash or debit card to get something I’m just fine. 98% of my preps have been bought and paid for with cash. Except for taxes I’m debt-free. No stinkin’ credit card bill or loan payment to worry about. Credit is one type of stress I don’t have and don’t need in my life. Say what you will but I don’t regret it for one minute.

            • Old Guy

              There is such a thing as no credit. Its not bad credit its simply no credit. I was in my younger days a job jumper. I never stayed employed to any employer for a lengthy time. I worked construction running Heavy equiptment. Most const jobs only lasted until the job was completed. Unless you wanted to travel with the company you where out of a job at jobs end. No biggie for me. I usually drew a good sized unemployment check every winter. Found a new job in the spring and worked 9 months at a good wage with overtime. I earned good money. But couldn’t borrow money because of my employment history. We purchased one parcel of land on credit. It was owner financed. Everything else since that one parcel we paid from savings in full at purchase. We saved all the interest and finance charges that many folks pay. On paper We are worth over a millon dollars. Yet like Brave we likely wouldn’t qualify for a home loan. Because of no credit history and we are white folks. When Black Folks apply the credit worthiness of the borrower is very low on the list of chriteria required to obtain a government guaranteed loan.

          • Plan twice, prep once

            If you ever been employed, had a bank or checking account, rented cable, cell service or had a phone line, owned or leased a car, owned or rented a place to live then you are on file.

            What is frightening is they have complete family tree, employment, and residence info including all those pesky security questions used to prove who you are.

            The hackers likely have everything needed to impersonate and hack you forever.

            • The Deplorable Braveheart

              PTPO, the credit agencies only have that information if you’ve ever obtained any major credit card, car loan, mortgage, etc. The hackers are always looking for credit card numbers and they’ll never find one on me. I played a game with Equifax and the others back on 2014. I checked with them to see if they had any kind of info on me by asking for one of those free credit reports. They all came back and said they had nothing on me. Now maybe someone else has something on me but not Equifax and company.

              • Old Guy

                There was a woman who we had a falling out with over a business deal. I reposessed a item her son failed to pay for. She worked for this outfit that obtains a credit line for folks and buses them to gamble at casinos. Any way she tried to get credit or finiancial history on me. We had to go to court because she filed a lawsuit in small claims court. When her and her son lost the case. She got mad and told me in front od witnesses. I don’t know what your scam is? When I ran you & your wife’s name’s nothing came up. I think you are in the witness protection program? It is against the law for her to run a check without our permission. However I didn’t have any evidence except for the witnesses and they weren’t exactly shining examples LOL. So couldn’t have her prosecueted. I am certain she did. Because we contacted her employer and she was immediately fired.

      3. Texas4570

        The whole credit score system including the credit bureaus are a joke and a ripoff. What is Equifax going to do to make it right? Nothing, and they will get a puny fine from the government.

      4. KY Mom

        Hackers Have Successfully Hidden Malware In Popular PC Cleanup Tool

        “A computer program used to help your PC run faster has reportedly become the latest victim of hackers looking to breach the security of millions of its users.”

        ht tp://miami.cbslocal.com/2017/09/18/hackers-malware-pc-ccleaner/

        • Heartless

          KY Mom – you’re right. I work as a freelance IT along with other venues in the tech world. CCleaner has been somewhat notorious in my world for some time. Never trust any software that comes with a pc, tablet or other mobile device. As I tell customers – Microsoft, Apple, Google,…. et.al. did not get to the level of wealth that they are by being altruistic. Their bottom line comes before your …. bottom.

      5. Heartless

        Just check your own info:

        ht tps://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/potential-impact/

        no registration required. No sense in worrying about nothing; or in the worst case, be able to take steps.

      6. Ghettocop

        Snyder is a hack that makes money stating the obvious with some false predictions thrown in. Hey failed lawyer, where is the great collapse you predicted would absolutely happen before the end of 2015? What do you expect from a bookworm that lives in pajamas all day because they can’t hack it in the real world with everyone else.

        • Anonymous

          How many more disasters do you need to see? The collapse is dead ahead dude. Or haven’t you noticed a shift is taking place?

      7. Him

        The hackers have your SS number. DOB, name, your card numbers. They have everything they need. On every adult. Somebody get a rope. Intel operators should have been sent to locate and assassinate everyone involved. In a most public way. To send a message.

        • The Deplorable Braveheart

          Him, no one can get any credit line in my name since I’ve never had any credit line. I’m one person who doesn’t need to worry about this shit.

          • Sam

            DB, someone can steal your identity, get a DL, and commit crimes as “you”. If/when you get pulled over, there may be warrants out for YOUR arrest. Now you still think you don’t have a dog in this fight?

            • MW

              When they get a DL in my name are they going to look like me?

          • Sam

            DB, the person who steals your identity can also go to the hospital, run up a HUGE bill in your “name”, and then it is on you …

          • Anonymous

            Ah, Mr Poverty, but you do have a Social Security number. Maybe even a poor Mexican would want to don your poverty stricken persona…nah, I don’t think so. Who wants to purloin an empty vessel? Second hand cars, second hand guns, second hand job?

            Really, you can’t afford the preppers lifestyle….unless you’re piggy backing off someone else’s hard work….forgot…you have your cousins.

            • The Deplorable Braveheart

              Anonymous, LOL! Whose world are you from where you think EVERYONE qualifies for credit? When was the last time you even looked at anyone’s credit policy? Your annual level of income is part of the criteria in all of the credit policies. I can go anywhere and get a credit application rejected. It doesn’t matter what I try to get. At this late stage of the game it’s way too late for me to even care about credit. Also, I NEVER piggyback off anyone. I’ve managed to have the preppers’ lifestyle to a certain degree even without credit. Yeah I’ve had second-hand cars my whole life because it’s all I can afford. You do whatever your circumstances let you do. Living without credit is the card that was dealt to me early on in life. You learn how to play the card the best you can if you want to survive. There’s no going back and asking for another card. Sure there’s times when life sucks but you’ve got to get through it the best you can. That’s just the way it’s always been for me but I learned through trial and error how to get through it. I’m still alive, still breathing, still kicking. You sound kinda like some snobs I used to have to deal with. Were you born with a silver spoon in your mouth?

              • Anonymous

                No, I’m not a snob. That’s always the poor man’s response to someone who has made a success of their life ?. Point the finger of failure by launching a puerile attack on someone else.

                I didn’t have wealthy parents and I didn’t go to college. I just took chances when they arose and have never worked for anyone but myself. It’s the only way the ordinary guy can break out of the cycle of wage enslavement.

                I still say, what kind of management job do you do that pays poverty wages? I don’t know of any.

      8. Him

        I forgot to mention that Equifax had the “patch” to repair the flaw in their system, but they were in no hurry to do so. Criminal negligence.

      9. Some Nobody

        Not to mention your compromised data will be used to create false identity documents like passports, drivers licenses, etc etc. Credit monitoring won’t stop this one.

      10. docosc

        Equifax has already made “free” credit monitoring services available to those impacted. The catch? You have to give them a credit card so that they can start billing you if you fail to cancel after 1 year. And, initially, you gave up your right to sue for damages if you accepted this service. After this was publicized, it was withdrawn form the ToS agreement. I have not heard if those who already signed the previous agreement had their rights restored, but I can guess.

      11. John WV

        Take Equifax to small claims court in your state.

        You don’t need a Lawyer, its fairly easy and you can sue for what ever your state maximum is. In WV its $5,000. Most states are between $5,000. and $15,000. Or join in a Class Action lawsuit.

        There is even a chat bot that will help you to sue Equifax in small claims court, just Google it.

      12. Warchild Dammit!

        This is one more reason to not have a cyrpto currency,folks just won’t play well.The head of their tech security had her site before scrubbed on sites like linkedin ect.,her college majors were music study,no cert.s nothing to show a path toward tech security,just a feel good hire!

        equifax will be fucked one way or another,and,bet the other 2 credit agencies have cross pollinated damages,to which I say,”Excellent”!

      13. Anonymous

        Screwed by Equifux. Hmmm. Just another step closer to chipping. Because sheeple will buy into it as a way to secure their data and privacy. Peace and safety don’t ya know.

      14. Anticommie

        Who gave these commies called credit reporters the right to collect private info. There is no such thing as privacy anymore

        • Anonymous

          Equifax has been around since the depression. However, legislation was enacted in the 90’s to require reporting of ALL credit activity of people and corporations. Psychopathic peepers never get their fill.

      15. aljamo

        Like Deplorable Braveheart I too have never had a credit card and no reason to want or need one. Sure I would be considered poor but it is second nature to me, probably made about 105 thousand in my working life. I don’t feel poor however and that’s all that matters. Some people can get by with much less. I don’t really want for anything. Cheers!

      16. Old Guy

        We have never owned a credit card. always paid cash for most things. Pay bills that are mailed with a money order. We do have a bank account with a small amount of money in it. My Social Security Ponzi check is direct deposited in it. We keep it drained of money. normally less than a thousand dollars in it. Im not too worred about identity theft or hacker’s. One thing I learned you need to open a online account even if you never use it. If you don’t anyone who you write a check to can take the info from the check and open a online account. Once you open a online account and password it that prevents another online account from being opened. Well the Ponzi check eagle shits tonite at midnite. Tomorrow we will visit the bank and withdraw some cash. Go to Aldi’s and buy some more canned goods ect. We will buy fuel with the debit card. We draw $1175.00 per month. withdraw $200 in cash every month and add that to our seed money – savings. The remainder is spent on stuff and living ect. When we write a check like at walmart we always round off to a higher amount and receive some cash as change.

      17. aljamo

        Old Guy… well that social security monthly check beats the VA disability by a hundred bucks. The VA disability has not been raised since 1978 outside the COLA social security gets. I think they should raise it a bit. Happy to get anything as I cannot work, the Agent Orange settlement added diabetes to caused exposure some years back. A modest income with some healthcare is better than living on the streets. Thank you oh grand poohbahs.

      18. Old Guy

        Well we did our monthly run. Got some cash. Bought $200 worth of food and canned goods at Aldi’s. Spent another $100 at WalMart. Mailed off the Phone Bill. Will pay the electric bill sometime this week and pay the property taxes.

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