Equifax CEO under increased fire for massive data breach

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Equifax CEO facing increased criticism for data breach

Cybersecurity expert Morgan Wright discusses why the Equifax data breach probably affects more than 143 million people, and what the penalty should be for the company’s CEO, Richard Smith.

Equifax CEO Richard Smith, who is set to testify before Congress on Oct. 3, came under increased fire today for the massive data breach into his company that may affect at least 143 million Americans.

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“There should be criminal charges in this,” cybersecurity expert Morgan Wright told FOX Business’ Lou Dobbs on “Lou Dobbs Tonight.”

The company learned about the breach -- in which hackers gained access to servers that contained customers’ names, Social Security numbers, birth dates and addresses -- in mid-July but did not publicly disclose the information until September.

Three executives at Equifax were criticized for selling stock just days after the company learned of the breach, though they denied any knowledge of its occurrence when they sold the shares.

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Wright suggested Congress should create a digital version of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which holds company’s responsible for truthful public disclosures and protects shareholders from accounting errors and fraudulent practices in businesses.

“This thing is going to get worse,” he said. “The first rule of data breaches, the number they give you is not the real number. It’s going to be higher.”

On Tuesday, Smith wrote in an opinion piece in USA Today that the company was devoting “extraordinary” resources to ensure a similar incident did not happen again, and offered to provide protection to any consumer who needs it.

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