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Credit rating: Equifax 'crisis reaction is a disaster

Sunday, September 10th, 2017 | Gadgets

The US financial service provider Equifax has been struggling with further problems after announcing an extensive hack last week. The company's crisis reaction is being criticized by numerous experts. The US journalist Brian Krebs spoke in a blog contribution from a Dumpster Fire. Literally translated with burning refuse containers, Dumpster Fire is usually used as a synonym for "complete disaster".

Equifax hacked up to 143 million customers, with social security numbers, driving license numbers and other personal data being copied. According to the company, credit card data are also affected by some 200,000 customers. Equifax collects customer information on creditworthiness, similar to Germany's Schufa or Arvato Infoscore.
Equifax has set up its own website, where customers can check whether they are affected or not. The problem: The results of the check seem to be more like a random generator than a serious database query. For example, several security researchers demonstrated that the entry of "test" as the name and "123456" as the social security number resulted in the conclusion that this obviously intended entry was "potentially affected". Other customers report, according to Brian Krebs, that requests on the mobile and the desktop side of the company led to different results. Other random combinations also led to changing results.

Equifax confirms problems
A spokesperson from Equifax confirmed the problems and said, "Some consumers who called the website shortly after the launch did not have a clear answer whether they were affected or not." The problem should have been fixed with an update.
The general terms and conditions of business of Equifax 'subsidiary TrustID Premier also caused excitement. This monitors the credit status for a fee. In the course of the hack, Equifax offered all US citizens the free use of the service for a year. However, in the GTC, a passage is excluded, which excludes the participation in collective actions, "Class-Action-Lawsuit", according to US law. However, according to the blatant security problems, such an action against Equifax is very likely.
The company itself told Brian Krebs that the relevant clauses were not applicable to "this cybersecurity incident". This assessment has not yet been independently confirmed.


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