Equifax Cyber Attack which came into light in 2017 is back into Google news headlines for reason. Reports are in that Members of People’s Liberation Army, a hacking unit working for the Chinese Military is now being linked to the cyber incident which resulted in the leak of personal information of more than 150 million customers.
Investigations revealed in 2018 that data related to more than 147 Americans and 15 million Britons were accessed by the hackers during the hack on the database of credit monitoring agency in 2017.
Wu Zhiyong, Wang Qian, Xu Kie and Liu Lei who worked for the Chinese People’s Liberation Army have been found guilty in the incident and were indicted by a grand jury on 9 counts for conducting espionage, economic crisis, and wire fraud in Equifax.
Bill Barr, the US Attorney General stated that those involved in Equifax data breach extracted sensitive info after discovering a database flaw. Names, social security numbers and birth dates of over half of the US populace were impacted by the crime. Also, the US attorney general stated that data related to driving licenses, payment card info, passwords, and addresses, related to over 700,000 Britons were also left exposed to hackers for weeks in the incident.
Mr. Barr labeled the Equifax data breach as one of the state-sponsored and well-coordinated cyber acts conducted by China.
FBI Director David Bowdich said that an investigation to track down the culprits (members of the PLA’s 54th Research Institute) is on and will continue until they are put behind the bars. However, he agreed that there is little prospect that all the suspects will fly down to the United States for trial.
Note- In 2019, Equifax agreed to pay $700m to settle the data breach lawsuits filed against the company as PILs. Also, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) of Britain has fined the company £500,000 for failing to protect its user data from hackers.