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Equifax Data Hack Puts Millions of Americans At Rish

by Alex Hearn

            Equifax has not had that great of a month. From mistake to mistake the public eye constantly nags the company.

On September 7th, Equifax announced that they got hacked. It affected over 143 million people, which is around half of the U.S. population. This may not sound like a big deal if you don’t know what Equifax is, but it is. Equifax is a credit review site which has access to your credit card information, personal information, and worst of all your social security number. All of this important information can now easily get into the hands of hackers.

A social security number is a nine digit number given to U.S. citizens by the government. The purpose of it is to keep track of your earnings and the number of years you worked. You also need it to do various other things, such as applying for a passport or enrolling in medicare. [1] But hackers can do much more. They can basically impersonate you. They can set up loans or government benefits in your name. [2] “Someone could basically become me. That is terrifying,” stated sophomore Eric Bain.

Giving up over 100 million social security numbers is bad, but it actually got worse. On September 9th, two days after the announcement, Equifax’s twitter sent people to a fake phishing site to get help. Equifax linked people to the said site multiple times throughout the day. This put even more people at risk. [3]

Most recently, the C.E.O. of Equifax, Richard Smith, has stepped down.“Stepping down after such a disaster seems so cowardly,” said sophomore Michael Johnston. Smith will retire with a payday of up to 90 million dollars. [4] The new interim C.E.O is Paulino do Rego Barros Jr. He has since offered a “sincere” apology to the victims of the hack. [5] “I don’t believe his apology. It seems forced to me,” stated sophomore Jacob Green.

More news about Equifax will come in the following weeks. But one thing is for sure: Equifax’s future isn’t looking bright.

 

Sources:

[1] http://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/050615/purpose-having-social-security-number.asp

[2] https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2017/09/08/how-equifax-hackers-might-use-your-social-security-number-to-pretend-theyre-you/

[3] http://money.cnn.com/2017/09/20/technology/business/equifax-fake-site-twitter-phishing/index.html

[4] http://fortune.com/2017/09/26/equifax-ceo-richard-smith-net-worth/

[5] https://www.cnbc.com/2017/09/27/equifax-interim-ceo-paulino-do-rego-barros-jr-apologizes-on-hacking.html