Equifax data breach could lead to monumental cyber hack, ex-con artist says

Cybersecurity and fraud prevention advisor Frank Abagnale on Monday said the recent Equifax data breach that may have affected over 140 million Americans is possibly a buildup to one monumental cyber breach event.

During an interview with FOX Business’ Stuart Varney on “Varney & CO.,” Abagnale said people, not hackers, are the root of all breaches and the data obtained can be used for a variety of reasons.

“Every breach occurs because somebody in that company did something they weren’t supposed to do or somebody in that company failed to do something they were supposed to do,” he said.

Abagnale said when credit agencies store consumers’ personal information such as name, date of birth and social security number it becomes more valuable.

“They typically warehouse that data for two or three years before they ever begin to use it or sell it. So, giving me one year of credit monitoring service for free is basically worthless,” he said.

The FBI fraud consultant said consumers can freeze their credit or use a credit monitoring service as a line of defense against cyber data breaches. However, he is hesitant to use Equifax as a credit monitoring system.

“I can’t trust them with my data to begin with so I don’t know if I am going to go back and ask them to monitor my credit.”

Abagnale’s life was portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio in the 2002 Steven Spielberg-directed film “Catch Me if You Can,” which also starred Tom Hanks.