equifax

It could happen here: How China's social credit system demonstrates the future of social control in smart cities

Adam Greenfield (previously) is one of the best thinkers when it comes to the social consequences of ubiquitous computing and smart cities; he's the latest contributor Ian Bogost's special series on "smart cities" for The Atlantic (previously: Bruce Sterling, Molly Sauter). Read the rest

Leaked Equifax documents provided to US Senate reveal that they dumped all our drivers' licenses, too, but Equifax says it's OK, so...

A leaked set of disclosures made by Equifax to the US Senate have revealed that the breach of 145.5 million Americans' sensitive financial data was even worse than suspected to date: in addition to data like full legal names, dates of birth, Social Security Numbers, and home addresses, it appears that Equifax also breached drivers' license numbers and issue-dates. Read the rest

32 Democratic senators demand to know if Trump's consumer finance boss has let Equifax off the hook

Following reports this week that Mick Mulvaney, Trump's new chief of the Consumer Finance Protection Board had stopped all activity related to probing the Equifax breach in which the sensitive financial data of virtually every adult American was stolen, 32 Democratic senators have written to Mulvaney demanding that he account for himself. Read the rest

Trump's Consumer Finance Protection Board chief gives up on punishing Equifax for doxing the entire United States of America

Mick Mulvaney, the former loan-shark lobbyist who killed plans to regulate payday lenders after being appointed chief of the Consumer Finance Protection Board, has effective abandoned the agency's efforts to punish Equifax for leaking the sensitive personal and financial information of at least 145,500,000 Americans. Read the rest

A 1968 book predicts life in the year 2018

In 1968, the Foreign Policy Association gathered experts together to predict what life would be like in the year 2018 -- and issued their forecast in the book Toward the Year 2018.

The book jacket promised that the contents were "MORE AMAZING THAN SCIENCE FICTION," and, like a lot of sci fi, it wound up frequently missing the mark. The 1968 progrosticators figured that we people of the future would have TV ads for anti-gravity belts, the "suppression of lightning," a country powered heavily by nuclear, and the ability to launch "a man-made hurricane" as an offensive weapon.

But as this writeup in the New Yorker notes ...

But for every amusingly wrong prediction, there’s one unnervingly close to the mark. It’s the same Thomas Malone who, amid predictions of weaponized hurricanes, wonders aloud whether “large-scale climate modification will be effected inadvertently” from rising levels of carbon dioxide. Such global warming, he predicts, might require the creation of an international climate body with “policing powers”—an undertaking, he adds, heartbreakingly, that should be “as nonpolitical as possible.” Gordon F. MacDonald, a fellow early advocate on climate change, writes a chapter on space that largely shrugs at manned interplanetary travel—a near-heresy in 1968—by cannily observing that while the Apollo missions would soon exhaust their political usefulness, weather and communications satellites would not. “A global communication system . . . would permit the use of giant computer complexes,” he adds, noting the revolutionary potential of a data bank that “could be queried at any time.” What “Toward the Year 2018” gets most consistently right is the integration of computing into daily life.
Read the rest

Democratic Senators propose federal breach disclosure law with 5-year prison sentences for covering up data-loss

The Data Security and Breach Notification Act (S2179) was introduced by three Senate Commerce Committee Democrats, Bill Nelson [D-FL], Richard Blumenthal [D-CT] and Tammy Baldwin [D-WI] in the wake of the revelation that Uber hid a breach involving 50,000,000 riders and 7,000,000 drivers for over a year after paying hush-money to the criminals who stole the data. Read the rest

Once you have a student's name, birthday and SSN, the US Department of Education will give you EVERYTHING else

The US Department of Education's Free Application for Federal Student Aid program requires any student applying for federal aid for college or university to turn over an enormous amount of compromising personal information, including current and previous addresses, driver's license numbers, Green Card numbers, marital details, drug convictions, educational history, tax return details, total cash/savings/checking balances, net worth of all investments, child support received, veterans' benefits, children's details, homelessness status, parents details including SSNs, and much, much more. Read the rest

Wall Street and Trump are about to kill the CFPB, the only government agency that effectively polices bank scams, crimes and frauds

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (previously) is practically the only US regulator we can be proud of -- founded by Elizabeth Warren before she ran for the Senate, the CFRB is a consumer protection agency that has been at the forefront of reining in criminal activities like Wells Fargo's nationwide frauds and Equifax's dox attack on the USA, as well as being the best defense Americans have against predatory loan-sharks masquerading as "payday lenders," abusive debt-collectors, racial discrimination in lending, and the student loan racket. Read the rest

Equifax's total bill for leaking 145.5 million US records to date: $87.5 million

That's according to this month's shareholder filings; the company estimates the total bill at $166 million more, plus class action damages. Read the rest

Equifax's CEO isn't sure whether they've finally started encrypting their servers yet

Equifax's nation-destroying data-breach was subsequently revealed to be just the latest in a series of unbelievably careless IT blunders, and it eventually cost the company CEO his job; now his replacement has told Congress that he's not really sure if the company has finally started encrypting the detailed, compromising, sensitive data they nonconsensually harvest from every person in the USA. Read the rest

Woman blames 15 identity thefts on Equifax breach

Katie Van Fleet has suffered 15 identity thefts since the Equifax breach and she believes the criminals who've targeted her are using information from the breach to open credit cards in her name; she's started a class-action suit against Equifax. Read the rest

Six months before the breach, a researcher warned Equifax that all its data was unprotected

An anonymous security researcher has shown Motherboard evidence that they warned Equifax in December 2016, six months before its catastrophic breach, disclosing numerous elementary deficiencies in Equifax security that left all of its data vulnerable to being stolen. Read the rest

Those "heroic rogue GOP senators" just helped Trump shield Equifax and Wells Fargo from lawsuits

Senators Bob Corker, Jeff Flake and John McCain talk a big game about not letting the GOP be the handmaiden of trumpist corruption, but when the chips were down last night, they voted with their party and a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Handmaid's Tale to pass legislation that lets financial institutions take away your right to sue them when they defraud you. Read the rest

IRS to America: you were probably already doxed before the Equifaxpocalype, so don't worry about it

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said that he didn't expect the risk of fraud to go up this tax-filing season despite the world-beating Equifax breach of 145,000,000 Americans' sensitive personal and financial data because a "significant" number of Equifax's breaches had already been exposed by earlier breaches of other databases. Read the rest

IRS changes its mind about giving Equifax $7.5m to fight fraud (for now)

Weeks after Equifax announced its worst-in-world-history breach, the IRS awarded the company a $7.5 million no-bid contract to prevent fraud. Read the rest

Equifax is serving malware to visitors

On Wednesday, security researcher Randy Abrams visited the Equifax site to contest bad information in his credit report and was attacked by malicious software that tried to get him to download a fake Flash updater that was a vector for an obscure piece of malware called Adware.Eorezo. Read the rest

Equifax: we doxed 400k Britons, erm, make that 700k, erm, we mean 15.2 million

Oh, Equifax: "Equifax says that for approximately 14.5 million of the 15.2 million affected, the stolen records contained only a small amount of information, limited to name and dates of birth." Read the rest

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