Security & Fraud

Equifax Lets Go Of Two Execs; Wealthy Victims Could Be At Risk After Breach

In the wake of the massive data breach at Equifax, the embattled credit scoring company announced that the Chief Information Officer, David Webb, and the chief security officer, Susan Mauldin, will both retire.

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Webb’s job will be taken over by Mark Rohrwasser, who has headed up Equifax’s international IT operations since 2016. Mauldin is being replaced by Russ Ayres on an interim basis. Ayres reports to the CIO, according to the report. The paper, citing Equifax, said the changes would take effect immediately.

These moves come after the company disclosed a major data breach in which 143 million U.S. customers may have been compromised. The stolen data included Social Security numbers, birth dates and other personal information. The disclosure of the Equifax breach has resulted in a huge backlash for Equifax from customers, lawmakers and regulators. Late last week, the Federal Trade Commission made the rare public announcement that it was looking into the breach, prompted by the attention the case has generated.

In addition to firing the two executives, Equifax said on Friday (Sept. 15) that on July 20, its security team saw “suspicious network traffic” related to its online dispute portal for U.S. customers. After blocking the traffic, the security team saw more of it the next day. Equifax then took it offline, reported the paper.

Separately, the Wall Street Journal reported that in the wake of the massive data breach, wealthy customers could become targets of the “bad guys.” According to the report, given the fact that hackers presumably got Social Security numbers, birthdates and addresses, they can go after those people that have larger bank accounts, more lines of credits and greater assets. Hackers can also pinpoint wealthier targets by sorting the stolen Equifax information by zip code, and then going after those customers with addresses in expensive neighborhoods.

“Hackers get the most bang for their buck by focusing on [the] wealthy,” Roderick Jones, chief executive of cybersecurity firm Rubica, Inc., told the Wall Street Journal. Jones said wealthy consumers could be at risk for hackers opening up credit cards with high limits or loans with high balances. They could also use data from the Equifax leak to engage in phishing scams to access more information, or they can hack into a victim’s email account and send requests for cash to be wire-transferred. There’s also a risk of medical fraud, noted the report.

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