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Equifax Dead: Hacked So Credit Reports Worthless

By Duane Thresher, Ph.D.          April 5, 2018

Last year Equifax allowed the worst data breach in history and the legal fallout continues. Everyone assumes that the worst result of the Equifax hacking was that hundreds of millions of people, including those at sensitive government agencies, like national security agencies, had their most personal financial information given to hackers. That is indeed horrendous but that may not be the worst of it. No one has considered that with Equifax hacked its credit reports are worthless, even illegal, since the Equifax hacking may have been to change credit reports, not just steal data.

Everyone knows how important credit reports are. They are essentially used to determine where you can work and live. Even before the hacking, Equifax had major problems making sure the data it gathered was correct, and had been successfully sued numerous times for getting it wrong and harming people. Trying to discover what data for hundreds of millions of people has been changed by hackers is well beyond the capabilities of Equifax IT.

During the hacking, Equifax had fake IT experts as its Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Chief Information Security Officer (CISO). David Webb, now comfortably retired, was the CIO. He has a BA in Russian (which the hackers may have been) and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) but no IT education. Susan Mauldin, now comfortably retired, was the CISO. She has a BA and a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Music Composition from the University of Georgia, which is conveniently located near Equifax headquarters in Atlanta Georgia, but no IT education.

And the Equifax hacking may be continuing. The holy grail of hacking is installing a "root kit" to allow for continued secret access, which changes the operating system so that you can't even look for it, even if you know there has been a hacking. Finding a root kit is even further beyond Equifax IT's capabilities.

In criminal law, where Equifax credit reports are also used, there is what is called a secure chain of custody. If at any time from crime to court, the evidence has been out of the law's hands so that it could have been tampered with, the evidence is tainted and can no longer be used. It is exactly the same now for Equifax credit reports; all are tainted and unusable.

A big part of background checks, by the FBI for government IT jobs for example, are credit checks, since someone who is in debt is more easily bribed. Equifax was hacked, possibly by the Russians, which not only gave them access to the financial records of many government employees, but more importantly also allowed them to alter credit checks, to for example get one of their agents a government job by making sure he passes a background check.

If anyone is denied a loan, housing, or a job and an Equifax credit report was viewed for it, Equifax can be easily sued, as can those doing the denying.

Equifax is dead; suicide by fake IT.