Economy

Equifax Ignored Warning of Breach, Says Researcher

Equifax Ignored Warning of Breach, Says Researcher”

This, the researcher said, was six months before the data breach in which the most private and highly valued personal data - including names, Social Security numbers, addresses and dates of birth - of more than 145 million Americans was stolen.

The report claims an anonymous researcher looked into Equifax's servers and websites a year ago. The credit reporting agency didn't notify consumers until September.

The new allegations, reported by a security reporter at tech news site Motherboard, say the unnamed researcher scanned servers and public-facing websites, and discovered it was easy to access troves of personal data of Equifax customers.

This new information was first reported on Thursday by Motherboard, which spoke to the security researcher who discovered the vulnerability and reviewed evidence of their find.

The researcher told Motherboard that the site looked like an employee portal but could be found by anyone on the internet.

Motherboard said it had been shown multiple sets of the data that was accessed.

"I didn't have to do anything fancy", the researcher told Motherboard, explaining that the site was vulnerable to a basic "forced browsing" bug.

"All you had to do was put in a search term and get millions of results, just instantly - in cleartext, through a web app", the researcher reportedly said.

The publication said that this raised the question that more than one group of hackers broke into the company, and raises fresh questions about Equifax's security practices. "It would have taken them five minutes".

It's not clear whether the identified vulnerability, or other openings, were exploited by the hackers, but the researcher believes there were "maybe dozens" of breaches to Equifax's databases.

Equifax reportedly responded to Motherboard with the following statement.

Now, plaintiffs are demanding that Equifax "strenthen their data security". "We also continue to work closely with our internal team and outside advisors to implement and accelerate long-term security improvements".



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