Equifax Inc. (NYSE:EFX) has disclosed a massive data breach last week which has which impacted up to 143 million Americans. The lawmakers has signed a letter asking the U.S. Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Trade Commission to investigate into about $1.8 million in stock sales by three executives between July 29th, the day EFX said it came to know that its systems were hacked in mid-May, and when they made it public last week. This was disclosed by the credit monitoring agency. Therefore, thirty-six U.S. senators on Tuesday has called on federal authorities to investigate the sale of nearly $2 million in shares of credit bureau EFX by company executives after a breach of massive data. Their actions are compared to the insider trading. As a result, EFX stock closed 2.5 percent higher at $115.96 on Tuesday, which slightly reversing a 21 percent slide since the hack was reported.
The FBI is investigating the security breach and an independent cybersecurity firm has been hired to provide recommendations to prevent another cybersecurity incident from occurring. The cyber security experts considers the breach is one of the largest data hacks ever disclosed. Acting FTC head Maureen Ohlhausen has declined to say if that agency was investigating the breach. The agency has historically probed big breaches but has only sued companies that had been sloppy in protecting consumer data.
Moreover, the Senate Finance Committee has submitted a letter to Smith and has requested answers to 13 questions, that includes a detailed timeline of the breach and its discovery, the company’s plan to notify affected consumers, what steps the company has taken to limit potential consumer harm related to the breach, among other inquiries. EFX has to respond until September 28th to the Senate Finance Committee.
Additionally, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey has said that she intended to sue Equifax with allegations of failing to maintain appropriate safeguards to protect customers’ data, including that of nearly three million Massachusetts residents. Wayne Stenehjem, the attorney general of North Dakota, has announced Tuesday that 248,000 North Dakota residents were affected by the security breach at EFX last week.
Meanwhile, EFX Chief Executive Officer Richard Smith has apologized for the breach and vowed the company “will make changes.” He considered it to be the most humbling moment in their 118-year history and has promised changes to better protect the customers.
EFX stock has fallen 23.4% in the last four days(as of 12:31PM EDT September13th, 2017; Source: Google Finance).