Senators Pounce on Equifax Executive Stock Sales at Hearing

Senators Pounce on Equifax Executive Stock Sales at Hearing

An Equifax employee failed to alert the company that it needed to apply a patch to the vulnerable system.

Smith, who stepped down last week, repeatedly apologized to the members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee - and the American people - for the security lapse.

The recently departed CEO of Equifax faces a second round of tough questions on Wednesday from US politicians eager to hear about what he and company executives knew about the breach - and when.

On Monday, Equifax said its breach potentially affected 2.5 million more people than it had previously stated.

"All the folks in the executive suite had no clue, but they were the luckiest investors on August 1 to sell the stock at the best price to net $655,000 - this was pure luck and nothing else?" a baffled Scott asked former Equifax CEO and Chairman Richard Smith.

Smith, in a statement to a congressional committee released, offered a timeline of the cyber attack which leaked social security numbers and other sensitive data.

"You're really just required to notify everybody and say, so sorry, so sad", Barton said to Smith. A day after berating Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan over the bank's own scandal with phony accounts, Senator Warren took aim Wednesday at Smith, who retired as CEO of the credit reporting agency last week in the wake of the Equifax breach.

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Equifax is trying to help consumers while also fixing its security systems, he said.

In part of the ongoing investigation into the Equifax security breach, private security firm Mandiant has finished its first round of forensic data collection and analysis. But by that point in the hearing, most of the lawmakers had asked their questions and left.

Back in September, Equifax suffered a massive data breach that compromised details of millions of customers, including credit card details of over 209,000 citizens.

Smith said this particular sale opened after the second quarter earnings call and was in line with normal behavior.

That activity was eventually identified on 31 July, but the scale of the breach and whether any information had been stolen was not immediately clear at that time, he said.

Smith said he would expect Equifax to "cooperate" with "particular legislation that arises out of this horrific breach".

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