UPDATE


Equifax data breach: What to know

Published: Thursday, September 07, 2017 @ 11:18 PM

143 Million Could Be Affected by Equifax Data Breach

Credit reporting and technology company Equifax had data compromised in what it said was a cybersecurity incident that affected 143 million customers in the U.S.

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Here is what you need to know about the incident:

Equifax learned of the incident in July 2017. The breach occurred from mid-May through July 2017.

According to the FAQ on a website the company created to provide customers with information on the hack, Equifax found out about the breach July 29. The company said it “acted immediately to stop the intrusion and conduct a forensic review.” The company says the situation has been contained.

Birth dates, Social Security numbers, credit card numbers and addresses are among the information accessed.

Equifax said that in some instances, driver’s license numbers were also accessed by hackers. Some personal information from UK and Canadian residents was also accessed.

This July 21, 2012, photo shows Equifax Inc., offices in Atlanta. Credit monitoring company Equifax says a breach exposed social security numbers and other data from about 143 million Americans. The Atlanta-based company said Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017, that "criminals" exploited a U.S. website application to access files between mid-May and July of this year. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart)(Mike Stewart/AP)

Consumers can enroll in free identity theft protection and credit monitoring.

Equifax has offered free credit monitoring for a year through its subsidiary TrustedID Premier. According Equifax, the credit monitoring service also provides Social Security monitoring, a credit report lock, credit report and identity theft insurance.

Consumers can go to EquifaxSecurity2017.com to find out if their information was impacted by the breach.At the website, consumers can click the “check potential impact link and enter their last name and the last six digits of their social security number. The consumer will get a message alerting them whether or not their data was compromised.

Ford recalls 1.3 million trucks for door latch issue

Published: Wednesday, October 18, 2017 @ 8:51 PM

Ford Recalls Over 1 Million Trucks

Ford Motor Co. is recalling approximately 1.3 million 2015-2017 F-150 and 2017 Super Duty vehicles in North America.

In a Wednesday news release, the company said a water shield needs to be added to door latches. Without the shield, the latches could freeze and cause the door to not close or open correctly. 

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“Should a customer be able to open and close the door with these conditions, the door may appear closed, but the latch may not fully engage the door striker with the potential that the door could open while driving, increasing the risk of injury,” Ford said.

Reuters reported that Ford spokeswoman Elizabeth Weigandt said those who have the affected vehicles should get a notice next month. She did not have a time frame for when parts would be available, according to Reuters.

“We take the safety of our customers very seriously. Our decisions are driven by the data available,” Weigandt said in an email to Forbes. “When the data indicates a safety recall is needed, we move quickly on behalf of our customers.”

Dealers will inspect door latch actuation cables, which could be bent or kinked without the shields, and repair them at no cost if needed. Dealers will also install water shields over the door latches at no cost to the customer.

The company said it is not aware of injuries or accidents tied to the issue. 

More information can be found at the Ford Motor Co. website.

Equifax to offer free credit freezes for life, new CEO says

Published: Thursday, September 28, 2017 @ 3:42 PM

143 Million Could Be Affected by Equifax Data Breach

Equifax’s new interim chief executive said the company is planning to offer a new life-long credit freeze service for free by the end of January.

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Paulino do Rego Barros Jr., who was named the company’s new CEO on Tuesday, announced that move Thursday, along with other efforts to improve its problem-plagued response to a massive data theft affecting 143 million Americans.

“On behalf of Equifax, I want to express my sincere and total apology to every consumer affected by our recent data breach,” Barros said in an op-ed that appeared in the Wall Street Journal. “People across the country and around the world, including our friends and family members, put their trust in our company. We didn’t live up to expectations.” 

According to a news report, Barros’ op-ed was not initially available on Equifax’s website on the security breach, www.equifaxsecurity2017.com, but the site now has a link to it.

>> Related: Equifax apologizes for sending people to fake company website

In a move that could put pressure on the other two major credit bureaus, Experian and TransUnion, to offer similar life-long freezes, Barros said Equifax plans to offer a free service by Jan. 31 that will “let consumers easily lock and unlock access to their Equifax credit files. You will be able to do this at will.”

With the service, he said, “the cybercrime business will become a lot more difficult.”

Equifax’s efforts come as the Atlanta credit-tracking firm faces a storm surge of investigations, lawsuits and consumer complaints about its handling of the hacking scandal, one of the worst any company in the U.S. has faced.

Next week, former Equifax CEO Rick Smith is expected to be grilled before Senate and House committees looking into the breach.

>> Related: Report: Equifax hacked months earlier than previously admitted

Some lawmakers are calling for “clawbacks” of Equifax executives’ pay. Smith, who retired Tuesday, leaves the company with at least $48.9 million in stock awards and benefits accumulated during his 12-year tenure at the company.

Barros said the company is also extending the deadlines to the end of January for the free credit freezes and credit monitoring services it offered in the wake of the hacking incident. The company initially set up a one-month sign-up window after the data theft was disclosed on Sept. 7.

>> Related: Clark Howard: 10 things you need to know about the Equifax data breach

Afterwards, panicked consumers swamped Equifax's call center and website. Many said they weren't able to sign up, or Equifax's employees couldn't answer some questions. Thursday, Equifax's website indicated the problems continue.

“We are currently experiencing difficulties with our TrustedID website. As a result, the site may be unavailable periodically, and we are working hard to help reduce interruptions,” the company said on its website.

Barros said the company is working on fixing its website and adding more call center employees and additional training.

“We have to see this breach as a turning point — not just for Equifax, but for everyone interested in protecting personal data,” he said.

This Saturday, July 21, 2012, photo shows the Equifax Inc. headquarters in Atlanta. On Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017, credit reporting agency Equifax ousted CEO Richard Smith in an effort to clean up the mess left by a damaging data breach that exposed highly sensitive information about 143 million Americans. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart)(Mike Stewart/AP)
 

Another Equifax hacking possible as web page taken down

Published: Thursday, October 12, 2017 @ 3:54 PM

The Equifax Breach – How To Find Out If You are at Risk

In what could be yet another incident of hacking, Equifax has taken down a web page because of suspicion that it had been manipulated.

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The site, one of the embattled company’s customer service offerings, was delivering fraudulent updates for Adobe Flash, which – when clicked – would infect a visitor’s computer with unwanted software, according to a security analyst and the technology web site Ars Technica.

Equifax officials on Thursday confirmed that it had taken down the web page, but did not confirm the rest of the report or offer other details.

This July 21, 2012, file photo shows Equifax Inc., offices in Atlanta. Equifax has taken down one of its web pages after reports that another part of its website had been hacked as well. The news comes as Equifax continues to deal with the aftermath of hackers breaking into its system earlier in 2017 which allowed the personal information of 145.5 million Americans to be accessed or stolen. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart, File)(Mike Stewart/AP)
“We are aware of the situation identified on the equifax.com website in the credit report assistance link,” the company said. “Our IT and Security teams are looking into this matter, and out of an abundance of caution have temporarily taken this page offline.”

Target testing Drive Up service at some stores

Published: Tuesday, October 10, 2017 @ 10:55 PM

Drive Up Service Being Tested At Some Target Stores

Target has begun testing a new service for its popular Target runs -- that is, quick trips to the store to pick up a few items.

According to an Oct. 2 news release, the retailer is testing out Drive Up, a service that allows customers to order something from Target and have it brought to their car by an employee.

>> Read more trending news

To access the feature, users place an order on the free Target app and select the Drive Up option. The app will alert customers when their order is ready for pick-up. When en route to pick up the item, users can tap the “I’m on My Way” button.

Similar to Chick-fil-A’s app, users will be able to park in a designated spot and wait for an employee to come out with their order.

“Stopping for diapers and toilet paper may not be glamorous, but it’s still on a lot of our to-do lists,” Dawn Block, Target senior vice president of digital said in the release. “Drive Up is our latest effort to make it easier and faster for busy guests to conveniently get what they need, and simply get back to their day.”

The curbside pick-up serice is still in its testing phase. CNBC reported that it’s only avialbe at 50 locations in the region around the retailer’s Minneapolis headquaters.

For now, the Target app is only on iOS devices.