Equifax CEO steps down following disastrous data breach

Consumers demand greater control over personal info following Equifax breach

29 September, 2017

"The Board remains deeply concerned about, and totally focused on the cybersecurity incident", Feidler said in a statement. "On behalf of the Board, I express my appreciation to Rick for his 12 years of leadership", Feidler commented.

Two weeks ago, Equifax revealed to the public that cyber criminals had accessed its network during May and remained in the system until their presence was discovered in late-July.

Equifax collects names, phone numbers, addresses, social security numbers, dates of birth, financial account information and other data for 820 million consumers worldwide. Equifax said the search is already underway for a permanent CEO.

Equifax said it didn't fathom the breadth of information that had been stolen until shortly before issuing a public alert on September 7, triggering the wave of withering condemnations that has led to Smith's departure. "So I fully expect Mr. Smith to testify before the Banking Committee next week, regardless of the timing of his retirement", said Sen. Target Corp CEO Gregg Steinhafel left the retailer in 2014 after a high-profile breach that exposed credit cards and data on tens of millions of shoppers.

The federal government is investigating the company's response to the hack and Congress will hold a hearing on the matter next week.

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On Friday, the company announced that two executives, its chief information officer and chief security officer, would leave the company immediately.

Equifax CEO Richard Smith will retire from his duties as CEO and chairman of Equifax effective immediately.

Smith had been scheduled to appear October 3 during a Congressional hearing that would likely have turned into a public lambasting.

The chief executive of Equifax is out after a massive data breach compromised the personal information of 143 million Americans. The attackers were able to make use of the CVE-2017-5638 vulnerability in the open-source Apache Struts framework that was patched by the Apache Struts project in March 2017. It also included more than 200,000 credit card numbers and almost 200,000 other documents with personal identifying information.

Richard Smith, 57, retired with immediate effect, becoming the third senior executive to leave since the breach was reported earlier this month.

It's not just that the names, addresses, and Social Security numbers of a significant portion of the USA population were stolen from a company many people cared little about before this hack. The lawsuit also orders the court to make Equifax to "maintain and appropriate security procedures for the highly sensitive information it handles". Consumers can also sign up for credit monitoring, which will be free for a year.

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