Equifax triggers debate on cyber-rules

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U.S. lawmakers have questioned the former head of credit-scoring company Equifax over a cyber-attack that may have exposed personal data of more than 145 million people.

Richard Smith, who last week apologized several times for the violation.

Some of the Congress members of the Committee, said it should spur privacy stronger laws, and prompt US to rethink the role of credit agencies.

Others said other arrangements would not have been enough to prevent this hack.

Equifax has said about 145.5 million people in the United States, 400,000 in the UK and approximately 8,000 in Canada may have had their data compromised attacks occurred between may and July.

Hackers took advantage of a software vulnerability, Equifax has warned, in March, and not to the address.

At a hearing in Washington on Tuesday, Mr Smith said, it took solid weeks to determine the extent of the attack after it identified suspicious activity in July.

Representative Jan Schakowsky, an Illinois Democrat, said the attack to a broader conversation about credit bureaus should call, collect the credit data to the consumer of the company, often without people knowing.

“To be Equifax deserves to be shamed in this hearing, but we should also ask what did the Congress do or not do, to stop privacy violations,” she said.

New rules in the face of opposition in Washington, where US President Donald Trump, and many Republicans are calling for less regulation.

Representative Greg Walden, an Oregon Republican, said that companies have a responsibility to guard data in accordance with applicable law. He questioned how effective the new rules.in the case of incidents such as this

“I can’t fix stupid,” he said.Legal Claims

But both Democrats and Republicans in the energy and commerce sub-Committee hearing, were unanimous in their anger.

Representative Joe Barton, a Texas Republican, said he wants a law of the Federal government, that would be a punishment from companies in the event of non-compliance.

“I think it’s time at the Federal level, some of the teeth, the said in this,”

Equifax faces legal claims in dozens of States over the breach, which exposed data, including birth dates, social security numbers and credit card information.

Three Equifax executives sold millions of dollars worth of shares, after the attack was detected on July 29, but before he made available to the public.

However, Mr Smith said they were not aware at the time that personal data has been stolen.