Tags: richard smith | equifax | ceo | testifies

Richard Smith, Equifax's Bailed CEO, Spilling the Beans Tuesday

Richard Smith, Equifax's Bailed CEO, Spilling the Beans Tuesday

Former chairman and CEO of Equifax, Richard F. Smith, pauses as he arrives to testify before the Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection Subcommittee of the House Commerce Committee on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017 in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

By    |   Tuesday, 03 October 2017 12:04 PM

Richard Smith, the former CEO of Equifax, testified Tuesday during the first of four Congressional hearings this week concerning the massive data breach that exposed the information of 145.5 million U.S. residents.

Smith's testimony comes a day after Equifax increased its estimate of the number of people affected, saying the hack exposed an additional 2.5 million people, for a total of 145.5 million, USA Today reported.

During Tuesday's hearing before the Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce committee, Rep. Bob Latta (R-Ohio) called the breach "unprecedented and it’s also unique because of the sensitivity of the information stolen. The public deserves to know what happened,” USA Today noted.

Smith apologized in a prepared statement posted on the committee's website.

"As CEO I was ultimately responsible for what happened on my watch," Smith said in the statement. "Equifax was entrusted with Americans’ private data and we let them down. To each and every person affected by this breach, I am deeply sorry that this occurred."

He said the breach occurred because of "human error and technology failures."

The company was notified about a necessary update, or patch, to its software about two months prior to the breach, USA Today reported.

A March 8 warning from the Department of Homeland Security about the vulnerability went unheeded and subsequent scans failed to identify the vulnerability, CNN Money reported.

"It was this unpatched vulnerability that allowed hackers to access personal identifying information," Smith said, according to the broadcaster.

He noted that, hackers may have first accessed sensitive information on May 13 and continued to access information until July 30.

Along with security lapses, Equifax is under scrutiny over its response to widespread outrage over the incident and possible insider trading, The Washington Post reported.

"Certainly Equifax deserves public shaming," Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), said Monday, according to the Post. "We as members of Congress have an obligation to express our deep dissatisfaction with the company. In addition, we want to get to the bottom of this."

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Richard Smith, the former CEO of Equifax, testified Tuesday during the first of four Congressional hearings this week concerning the massive data breach that exposed the information of 145.5 million U.S. residents.
richard smith, equifax, ceo, testifies
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2017-04-03
Tuesday, 03 October 2017 12:04 PM
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