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Category Archives: ID Theft

Bill Would Establish Cybersecurity Inspections, Impose Mandatory Penalties, and Compensate Consumers for Stolen Data

“United States Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) today introduced the Data Breach Prevention and Compensation Act to hold large credit reporting agencies (CRAs) – including Equifax – accountable for data breaches involving consumer data. The bill would give the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) more direct supervisory authority over data security at CRAs, impose mandatory penalties on CRAs to incentivize adequate protection of consumer data, and provide robust compensation to consumers for stolen data. In September 2017, Equifax announced that hackers had stolen sensitive personal information – including Social Security Numbers, birth dates, credit card numbers, driver’s license numbers, and passport numbers – of over 145 million Americans. The attack highlighted that CRAs hold vast amounts of data on millions of Americans but lack adequate safeguards against hackers. Since 2013, Equifax has disclosed at least four separate hacks in which sensitive personal data were compromised. The Data Breach Prevention and Compensation Act would establish an Office of Cybersecurity at the FTC tasked with annual inspections and supervision of cybersecurity at CRAs. It would impose mandatory, strict liability penalties for breaches of consumer data beginning with a base penalty of $100 for each consumer who had one piece of personal identifying information (PII) compromised and another $50 for each additional PII compromised per consumer. Under this legislation, Equifax would have had to pay at least a $1.5 billion penalty for their failure to protect Americans’ personal information. To ensure robust recovery for affected consumers, the bill would also require the FTC to use 50% of its penalty to compensate consumers and would increase penalties in cases of woefully inadequate cybersecurity or if a CRA fails to timely notify the FTC of a breach.”

Text of Bill (PDF)

Fact Sheet (PDF)

Equifax data breach fallout – hundreds of class action suits and SEC subpoena

Equifax faces hundreds of class-action lawsuits and an SEC subpoena over the way it handled its data breach “Equifax, the credit reporting firm, is facing more than 240 class-action lawsuits from consumers — in addition to suits from shareholders and financial institutions — over the way it handled a massive data breach that affected 145.5 million Americans. The… Continue Reading

Equifax says it owns all its data about you – really!

Senate Commerce Committee Hearing – Protecting Consumers in the Era of Major Data Breaches – November 8, 2017: “…“Massive data breaches have touched the vast majority of American consumers,” said [Senator John] Thune [R- S.D.]. “When such breaches occur, urgent action is necessary to protect sensitive personal information. This hearing will give the public the… Continue Reading

Business Email Scams: Protecting Your Company’s Information

From the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities, a succinct and very useful Infographic guide: “Business Email Compromise is a cyber threat targeted against businesses, both large and small, that typically involves a con artist targeting employees with access to company financial or sensitive documents. The scammers lead the employees to believe they are a… Continue Reading

EPIC Urges Congress To Hold Equifax Accountable, Update Data Protection Law

“EPIC has sent statements to Congress ahead of hearings in the House and Senate on the Equifax data breach. EPIC underscored the risk to American consumers of data breaches which are increasingly severe. EPIC urged Congress to require prompt data breach notification, data minimization, and privacy enhancing techniques. In 2011 EPIC testified in the House… Continue Reading

Report – Phish For the Future

“This report describes “Phish For The Future,” an advanced persistent spearphishing campaign targeting digital civil liberties activists at Free Press and Fight For the Future. Between July 7th and August 8th of 2017 we observed almost 70 spearphishing attempts against employees of internet freedom NGOs Fight for the Future and Free Press, all coming from… Continue Reading

The Equifax Data Breach: What to Do

FTC – “If you have a credit report, there’s a good chance that you’re one of the 143 million American consumers whose sensitive personal information was exposed in a data breach at Equifax, one of the nation’s three major credit reporting agencies. Here are the facts, according to Equifax. The breach lasted from mid-May through… Continue Reading

Preventing and Responding to Identity Theft

US Cert Security update: Preventing and Responding to Identity Theft “You can be a victim of identity theft even if you never use a computer. Malicious people may be able to obtain personal information (such as credit card numbers, phone numbers, account numbers, and addresses) by stealing your wallet, overhearing a phone conversation, rummaging through… Continue Reading

Wharton – After Equifax, Can Our Data Ever Be Safe?

Follow up to previous posting – Equifax is one of many companies that collect information about you – via [email protected] – “In the annals of data breaches, the Equifax hacking stands alone due to its sheer scale: Digital thieves traipsed through the personal information of 143 million Americans for several months to do with it… Continue Reading

FTC alerts consumers about post Equifax scams

Ring, ring. “This is Equifax calling to verify your account information.” Stop. Don’t tell them anything. They’re not from Equifax. It’s a scam. Equifax will not call you out of the blue. That’s just one scam you might see after Equifax’s recent data breach. Other calls might try to trick you into giving your personal… Continue Reading

CRS – Justice Department’s Role in Cyber Incident Response

Via EveryCRSReport.com: Justice Department’s Role in Cyber Incident Response August 23, 2017 R44926. “Criminals and other malicious actors increasingly rely on the Internet and rapidly evolving technology to further their operations. In cyberspace, criminals can compromise financial assets, hacktivists can flood websites with traffic—effectively shutting them down, and spies can steal intellectual property and government… Continue Reading

Equifax hack may have breached personal data on half the US population w/updates

CNET: “…According to Equifax, which released a statement today, the company’s database was breached through a vulnerability on its website, exposing the personal information of an estimated 143 million people, including some in the UK and Canada….Equifax has set up its own program to help people find out if they were one of the millions… Continue Reading