At a DOJ press conference this morning, Attorney General Bill Barr and other DOJ officials announced that they have charged four members of the Chinese military for the 2017 Equifax hack. The four spies managed to get access to data from around 150 million US customers and 1 million UK and Canadian customers.
At the press conference, Bill Barr said: “This was a deliberate and sweeping intrusion into the private information of the American people.”
“Today we hold PLA hackers accountable for their criminal actions, and we remind the Chinese government that we have the capability to remove the internet’s cloak of anonymity and find the hackers that nation repeatedly deploys against us.”
According to FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich, there is as yet no evidence that the hacked data has actually been misused.
Equifax, one of the largest consumer credit reporting agencies, said hackers gained access to Equifax’ information between May and the end of July 2017. The hackers managed to get access to Social Security numbers, credit card data, addresses and birth dates.
The hack at Equifax caused a lot of turmoil in 2017. The company received a lot of criticism because the hack was kept under wraps for a long time. This led to the resignation of Richard Smith, the chairman and CEO of Equifax.
Because of the hack, Equifax had to settle with the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and 50 US states and territories. Equifax agreed to pay at least $575 million and can go up to $700 million.
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