08 Sep 2017

By now you are hopefully aware that one of the most disastrous data breaches ever has taken place. Equifax, a major credit bureau, announced recently that they had been they had suffered a data breach just over a month ago. The compromised information includes a lot of sensitive information, including Social Security numbers, addresses, and birth dates. The kicker: this breach affects nearly half of all Americans. Yes, nearly one of every two people in the country’s information has been compromised.

That’s bad, of course. Really bad. But it gets even worse.

Equifax set up a website, equifaxsecurity2017.com, where they have directed people to in order to check and see if they were a victim of this breach. The site has been a disaster. First, it’s been flagged as a phishing scam by some browsers. Worse still, it just doesn’t seem to work properly. People have reported getting different results on different devices after submitting their information. I personally wasn’t given an answer one way or another, but was told that my credit monitoring was good for a year, without verifying that I was starting a service. You can also just enter random letters and numbers to get through. The website is either terribly built or just a tactic to look like Equifax is doing something.

And then there’s the stock issue. Remember how knowledge of the hack was known about a month ago? Executives sold off about $2 million in stocks between then and now. Of course, news of the data breach caused a hit on the stock value. One report claimed that their selling of their shares had nothing to do with the hack, but it’s a bad look even if it’s true.

Since three is a magic number, there’s still more. As most companies do in the fallout of a data breach, Equifax is offering credit monitoring service for all affected people. Of course, they’re offering their own service, but to get it you have to agree to forfeit any participation in any class action lawsuit.

Equifax screwed up with this data breach. It’s a big, nasty one. These things happen, of course, and are, in some way, forgivable if not excusable. The way Equifax has handled it, however, has been shoddy at best.

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