Equifax Warns About Impact of Data Breach on its Business

Equifax Warns About Impact of Data Breach on its Business

Equifax Warns About Impact of Data Breach on its Business

Opening a conference call Friday, interim CEO Paulino do Rego Barros Jr. apologized again for the breach, and said executives will not be receiving bonuses. The company also said it's facing more than 240 class-action lawsuits and more than 60 regulatory or governmental inquiries.

The company said Thursday that it had recorded $87.5 million in costs related to the breach in the last quarter.

Equifax has given customers until January 31 to sign up for the free service and estimates it could eventually cost the company between $56 million and $110 million.

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"We recognize that we have an important journey in front of us to regain the trust and confidence of consumers and our business customers", Barros said in Thursday's statement. "We can not assure that all potential causes of the incident have been identified and remediated and will not occur again", it said in a quarterly filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

"Expenses include costs to investigate and remediate the cybersecurity incident and legal and other professional services related thereto, all of which were expensed as incurred", said Equifax.

Equifax announced on September 7 that hackers accessed data including Social Security numbers, driver's license numbers and addresses for 145 million Americans.

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The breach, which compromised sensitive data of 145.5 million people, has harmed the company's reputation and prompted investigations in every US state, a federal criminal probe and hundreds of lawsuits. "And to date, we do not have any evidence that we can probably add problem activity to data stolen from Equifax".

As of midmorning Friday, shares of Equifax were trading about 2.2% lower. Even so, the company's earnings topped Wall Street's forecasts. That compares with net income of $132.8 million, or $1.09 per share, in the prior-year quarter. The stock is down around 24 percent since September 7, when Equifax disclosed the breach. Equifax said the database intrusion continued until July, exposing the bevy of information that Equifax holds.

Equifax needs to do a better job of communicating whether it believes the hackers are still inside its network, said Mark Rasch, a former US federal cyber-crimes prosecutor who advises businesses on responding to breaches. Third-quarter revenue climbed 3.8 percent to $834.8 million, missing the $847 million average estimate of 13 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

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