Economy

Equifax Comes Clean About Previous Hacking Attack in March

Equifax Comes Clean About Previous Hacking Attack in March”

A few days later, Equifax brought in security consulting firm Mandiant, now a unit of FireEye and associated with many high-profile forensics investigations including the Yahoo breach previous year, when data on more than 1 billion accounts were exposed. The company late Friday announced the immediate retirement of David Webb, its chief information officer, and Susan Mauldin, its head security officer. Mauldin came under scrutiny for her credentials to be a CSO.

Given the scope of a growing number of major data breaches, each one is harder to top, although security experts know there's no bottom limit to what could be next.

The company named Mark Rohrwasser as interim chief information office and Russ Ayres as interim chief security officer.

Equifax also provided its most detailed timeline of the breach yet, although it raised as many questions as it answered. The key passages explain that the company "observed suspicious network traffic" on July 29th, "continued to monitor network traffic and observed additional suspicious activity" on the 30th and "took offline the affected web application that day". But it came down to a flaw in a tool created to build web applications, the company said in a press release this week.

At this point, Equifax's retelling grows cloudy.

They were using Apache Software and that company discovered a flaw in their program. The dispute portal was brought back online soon after.

The next point on the company's list says "Equifax's Security organization was aware of this vulnerability at that time, and took efforts to identify and to patch any vulnerable systems in the company's IT infrastructure".

It apparently missed at least one vulnerable system.

The news hasn't gotten better since Equifax disclosed that it was hacked on September 7.

But elsewhere in the statement, Equifax just-about-confesses that those efforts either missed the Struts implementation or failed to patch it properly.

Equifax has been castigated for how it has handled the breach, which it did not disclose publicly for weeks after discovering it. Many have complained that inconsistent information has been offered and that phone lines have been jammed. The company says it has addressed many of those problems. Equifax is offering credit freezes to customers free of charge through November.

And on August 2 Equifax contacted Mandiant, a professional cybersecurity firm, to help the company assess what data had been compromised. Equifax admitted it during its announcement on Friday.



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