News Worms
News Worms


Equifax warns data breach will harm future sales

Equifax warns data breach will harm future sales

Equifax has agreed to provide the TrustedID Premier credit monitor to all USA consumers free for one year. The company said it did not know how much it would cost them to address any judgments, settlements or penalties as a result of the breach.

They have dropped around 25 percent since the company's September 7 disclosure of the breach that exposed sensitive data on 145.5 million consumers.

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. "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.

Equifax estimates that the breach-related costs will total $87.5 million, including the cost of the free credit-monitoring services it provides to breach victims.

Investors are looking for clues to help assess whether the breach will have a long-term impact on the company's sales and profit, Stephens Inc analyst Brett Huff said.

"We believe that certain of our customers have determined to defer new contracts or projects unless and until we can provide assurances regarding our ability to prevent unauthorized access to our systems and the data we maintain", it said in the SEC filing.

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.

The SEC is one of more than a dozen regulatory bodies investigating Equifax over the hack. It revealed Thursday that it received subpoenas from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission related to trading in company shares by executives around the time of the breach.

Equifax's net income of $96.3 million was down 27% from $132.8 million a year ago and more than 71% from $165.4 million in the second quarter. Shortly after news of the breach broke, reports circulated that top officials had sold Equifax stock after the company found out about the breach, but before disclosing it to the public.

Since the disclosure, the share of Equifax credit files locked or frozen by consumers has gone from 0.5 percent to between 1.5 percent and two percent, according to Gamble.

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