Equifax agreed to pay $700M for its 2017 Data Breach

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American Credit Agency Equifax is reported to have agreed to pay a penalty of $700M for its 2017 Data Breach that affected more than 150 million customers by leaking their critical info such as personal names, date of births, social security numbers, and some financial details.

Federal Trade Commission, a data watchdog of North America has confirmed the news and said that Equifax agreed to pay the fine as it failed to take basic steps in protecting the info its customers from hackers.

Cybersecurity Insiders has learned that nearly half of the penalty or $300M appx will go to consumers for getting a free credit monitoring service for a year; beyond what the Georgia based company has already specified. Rest of the money will be used for claims settlement as per the claims filed through proper channel.

“The penalty will cover every American whose data was compromised from identity thefts occurring in future”, said Letitia James, Attorney General, New York.

James added that the fine will also cover $175 million paid to the states joining the litigation and $100 million in civil penalties to the federal government.

Note 1- Equifax is said to have learned about the vulnerability in its database in March’17, but failed to either notify its consumers or patch the network with appropriate tools.

Note 2- As of today Yahoo data breach affecting more than 1 billion of its user’s worldwide stands as the largest data breach ever in the history of tech companies. But as the value of stolen data is high in the case of Equifax due to the leak of sensitive info such as social security numbers, bank details, and other personal info; the data breach happens to occupy a higher value in the dark world.

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Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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