IRS awards Equifax no-bid, $7.25 million contract after hack

12 October, 2017, 01:05 | Author: Kim Reid
  • Ron Sachs  CNP  Zuma

Mandiant, the cybersecurity firm hired by Equifax to investigate the breach, has completed its analysis of affected consumers and did not find evidence of another attack or newly accessed databases, Equifax said. A day after berating Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan over the bank's own scandal with phony accounts, Senator Warren took aim Wednesday at Smith, who retired as CEO of the credit reporting agency last week in the wake of the Equifax breach.

The company said Monday that approximately 2.5 million additional USA consumers were potentially impacted by the cyber security breach, for a total of 145.5 million whose sensitive personal information was compromised. "I am here today to apologize to the American people myself".

Smith appeared before the House energy and commerce ommittee on Tuesday, where he expressed his remorse and desire to made things right, but had frequent testy exchanges with lawmakers. If they all do, Equifax stands to make more than $1.5 billion extra.

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The cyber-hack has been a calamity for Equifax which has lost roughly a quarter of its stock market value and seen several top executives step down alongside Smith.

Equifax has been criticized for waiting almost six weeks to notify the public after learning of the hack on July 29, and then initially made consumers give up their right to sue if they wanted free credit monitoring and identity theft protection.

"Arbitration is a rigged game", Werner said in an emailed statement from her office.

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Smith was notified of "suspicious activity" on July 31 after security personnel had identified and shut down the hacking.

No IRS data may have been stolen, but as long as the IRS relies on Equifax's KBA system, it is partially relying on a system powered by the data that Equifax keeps on its customers, some of which has now been stolen. A full response began on August 2, including contacting the FBI, Smith said. He informed the company's lead director three weeks later, on August 22, and board meetings were held on the matter August 24 and 25.

Smith said he would expect Equifax to "cooperate" with "particular legislation that arises out of this horrific breach".

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