Elizabeth Warren Is Coming for the Equifax CEO

Richard Smith testified to congress on Tuesday in the US

But Equifax's former CEO (who suddenly retired last week) told the House Energy and Commerce Committee that a single IT technician was at fault for the whole thing after they failed to install the patch.

One of three main credit reporting agencies in the USA next to Experian and TransUnion, Equifax stores a trove of highly sensitive personal and financial details about consumers. On Monday, Equifax announced Mandiant completed its forensic investigation and revised the number of people impacted by the hack.

Smith said he agreed that consumers should be able to determine who gets access to their information and that the company was unveiling a new product in January that would allow customers while online to lock and unlock their credit reports any time they wanted.

Several lawmakers on a congressional panel say Equifax's response to a massive data breach is unacceptable and still inadequate.

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.

Equifax's ex-CEO faced a barrage of criticism from Congress on Tuesday during a relentless hearing that lasted more than three hours - but was reluctant to give new details about how 145.5 million people had their information stolen.

Latta oversees a House panel that is hearing from former Equifax Chairman Richard Smith.

Some Congressional committee members said it should spur stronger data protection laws and prompt the United States to rethink the role of credit agencies.

Equifax has been raked over the coals for offering up a separate website to tell consumers seemingly at random if they'd been affected by the hack.

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Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., says that if Equifax wants to stay in business, its entire corporate culture needs to change to one that values security and transparency.

Equifax said the company it hired to investigate the breach, Mandiant, has concluded its investigation and plans to release the results "promptly".

But the committee didn't forget the ultimate outcome of the breach: The personal data genie can't go back in the bottle.

Equifax stands to make money off consumers through at least two major ways.

Hackers appear to have first used the software vulnerability to access sensitive information on May 13 and continued to do so for weeks before Equifax's security team identified suspicious network traffic on July 29.

"It would be a paradigm shift for the consumer", Smith said.

Rep. Bob Latta (R-Ohio) said modern online existence is nearly impossible to navigate without exposing your personal information.

Smith noted that in addition to his departure, the company's chief information officer and chief security officer also left the company following the breach.

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