Federal probe launched after Equifax data breach

Published: Thursday, September 14, 2017 @ 10:06 AM

143 Million Could Be Affected by Equifax Data Breach

The Federal Trade Commission on Thursday confirmed that it is investigating a massive data breach at credit reporting giant Equifax that exposed the sensitive information of millions of Americans.

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Peter Kaplan, FTC’s acting director of public affairs, said that the agency typically does not comment on ongoing investigations in a statement obtained by Politico.

“However, in light of the intense public interest and the potential impact of this matter, I can confirm that FTC staff is investigating the Equifax data breach,” Kaplan said.

Equifax, one of America’s three major credit bureaus, said last week that a “cyber security incident” might have exposed the names, Social Security numbers, birth dates and addresses of 143 million Americans. Driver’s license numbers might have also been accessed, the company said.

The breach took place from mid-May through July 2017, according to Equifax.

>> Related: Equifax reports massive data breach that could affect 143 million in U.S. 

Equifax set up a website to help affected consumers and keep them abreast of updates in the company’s investigation. On a frequently asked questions section of the site, Equifax officials identified the flaw that allowed hackers to access sensitive information as one flagged publicly last year.

A patch for the vulnerability, Apache Struts CVE-2017-5638, was released by The Apache Software Foundation in March, Bloomberg reported.

>> Related: Equifax cyberattack: What to know

Sen. Mark Warner, D-Virginia, a member of the Banking, Budget and Finance committees and cofounder of the Senate Cybersecurity Caucus, on Wednesday called for an investigation into the data breach. 

“The volume and sensitivity of the data potentially involved in this breach raises serious questions about whether firms like Equifax adequately protect the enormous amounts of sensitive data they gather and commercialize,” Warner wrote in a letter addressed to FTC Acting Chairwoman Maureen Ohlhausen.

>> Related: Equifax cyberattack: How to get a free credit report, protect your identity

He called the incident “one of the largest, and potentially most impactful, breaches in recent history.”

In this July 18, 2012, file photo, a pedestrian walks past credit card logos posted on a downtown storefront in Atlanta. On Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, Equifax said it has made changes to address customer complaints since it disclosed a week earlier that it exposed vital data on about 143 million Americans. Equifax has come under fire from members of Congress, state attorneys general, and people who are getting conflicting answers about whether their information was stolen. Equifax is trying again to clarify language about people's right to sue, and said Monday it has made changes to address customer complaints. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)(David Goldman/AP)

Trump denies telling widow of fallen soldier that her husband 'knew what he signed up for'

Published: Tuesday, October 17, 2017 @ 11:41 PM
Updated: Wednesday, October 18, 2017 @ 7:49 AM

Reports: President Trump to Widow of Fallen Soldier, He Knew "What He Signed Up For"

UPDATE, 7:38 a.m. ET Wednesday: President Donald Trump took to Twitter early Wednesday to deny reports that he told a fallen soldier’s widow that her husband “knew what he signed up for.”

“Democrat Congresswoman totally fabricated what I said to the wife of a soldier who died in action (and I have proof). Sad!” Trump tweeted.

>> See the tweet here

The tweet was referring to U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., who said she heard Trump say the words when he offered his condolences to Army Sgt. La David Johnson’s widow, Myeshia Johnson.

Wilson stood by her remarks. 

"I don't know what kind of proof he's talking about. I'm not the only person that was in the car," Wilson told CNN. "I have proof, too. This man is a sick man and he feels no pity for no one."

ORIGINAL STORY: President Donald Trump reportedly told the pregnant widow of Army Sgt. La David Johnson that “he knew what he signed up for...” in a call Tuesday afternoon according to WPLG.

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Johnson’s body, one of the four Army servicemen killed in action in Niger on Oct. 4, returned to the United States Tuesday. The flight bearing Johnson’s remains landed at Miami International Airport, according to WPLG.

The plane was met by Johnson’s widow, Myeshia Johnson, who is pregnant with the couple’s third child. Also present was an honor guard and local politicians.

Trump called Johnson to offer his condolences, telling her that her fallen husband “knew what he signed up for,” adding that “when it happens it hurts anyway,” a congresswoman who said she was present for the call said.

That response is generating some controversy, with some saying the president was unnecessarily callous and blunt. U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., said she heard the call with Trump and couldn’t believe her ears.

“It’s so insensitive. He should have not have said that. He shouldn’t have said it,” she said.

Also killed in action on Oct. 4 were Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright, Sgt. Bryan Black, Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Johnson and four soldiers from Niger, according to the New York Daily News. Two other Americans were wounded.

– The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

Homeowner creates amazing Halloween light show, synced with ‘Feel It Still’

Published: Wednesday, October 18, 2017 @ 8:03 AM

SDRandCo/Morguefile (Morguefile license: https://www.morguefile.com/license)
SDRandCo/Morguefile
SDRandCo/Morguefile (Morguefile license: https://www.morguefile.com/license)(SDRandCo/Morguefile)

For seven years, Brandon Bullis has combined light and music for an amazing Halloween display and this year is no exception.

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Bullis uses 16,000 lights and computer animation to create “Edwards Landing Lights” almost every night for the Halloween season. This year the show features “Feel It Still” by Portugal. The Man.

The show goes dark one night, Halloween itself, WRC reported.

The show is a hobby of Bullis’s, but it also serves a purpose. He collects donations for the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center.

And you’d think the nightly lights would cost Bullis a lot when it comes to the electric bill. You’d be wrong. It adds about $25 to $35 to the power bill because he uses energy-efficient LEDs.

Bullis went viral back in 2013 with his light show that danced to Ylvis’ “The Fox (What Does the Fox Say).” That show had more than 8 million views on YouTube.

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Two U.S. Navy sailors found dead at same Georgia home days apart

Published: Tuesday, October 17, 2017 @ 5:13 PM

Two U.S. Navy Sailors Found Dead of Apparent Drug Overdoses at Same Ga. Home Days Apart

Kingsland, Georgia, police are investigating after two U.S. Navy sailors were found dead days apart at a Kings Bay home.

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Officials say Brian Jarrell, 25, was reported missing by his family after he disappeared during a trip to Orlando.

His wife told investigators the family was at Disney World on Wednesday for Jarrell's daughter's birthday when he said he wasn't feeling well and left the park.

Jerrell’s wife filed a missing person report with the Orange County Sheriff's Office when she got back to the hotel and couldn't find him.

Jarrell's shipmates began searching for him in Camden County. They found his car outside a friend's home on Spinnaker Circle on Thursday.

They asked their friend Ty Bell if they could look for Jarrell inside the house.

They found Jarrell face down in the back bedroom. He was unconscious and cold to the touch.

Officials arrived at the residence and Jarrell was pronounced dead. He had no known medical issues, according to officials.

Police were called to the home on Spinnaker Circle again Monday after someone reported seeing a person lying inside unresponsive.

Police spoke with a U.S. Navy chief, who said he sent two sailors to their shipmate's house after he didn't report for duty.

Police found Bell lying on his back on the couch, unresponsive, with a white foamy substance coming from his nose.

He did not appear to be breathing. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Officials have not released a cause of death for either sailor.

Both were stationed at Kings Bay Submarine Base.

Kevin Smith pledges to give proceeds to ‘Women in Film’

Published: Wednesday, October 18, 2017 @ 7:41 AM

FILE PHOTO - Executive producer Harvey Weinstein and writer/director Kevin Smith arrive at a premiere held at Grauman's Chinese Theater on October 20, 2008 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Kevin Winter/Getty Images
FILE PHOTO - Executive producer Harvey Weinstein and writer/director Kevin Smith arrive at a premiere held at Grauman's Chinese Theater on October 20, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)(Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Kevin Smith, who is known for his films “Clerks,” “Chasing Amy” and “Dogma,” has pledged to donate any future money made on his films that were produced and distributed by Miramax to ‘Women in Film,’ Fox News reported.

Smith made the declaration after fallout from the Harvey Weinstein scandal and allegations of sexual harassment by the movie mogul and founder of Miramax and The Weinstein Company.

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Smith made the announcement during the latest podcast episode of “Hollywood Babble-On” in a profanity-filled statement. The comments come in at about 85 minutes of the more than two-hour podcast.

All future residuals from his movies that came out under the Miramax banner will be donated to “Women in Film,” a group that pushes for gender equality in show business.

When the news broke of Weinstein sexually abusing female stars and staffers, the filmmaker took to Twitter to say he was ashamed, Deadline reported.

If The Weinstein Company folds after the fallout from the allegations, Smith pledged to donate $2,000 to the advocacy group every month for the rest of his life, Entertainment Weekly reported.

Weinstein was fired from his company on Oct. 8, Entertainment Weekly reported.

Harvey Weinstein Fast Facts