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Equifax Executives Sold Shares Before Data Breach Was Made Public

Sep 08, 2017

Equifax denied that three of its senior executives knew about the credit reporting agency's massive data breach before selling off almost $1.8 million of their shares in the company.

The breach, attributed to hackers, was revealed to the public on Thursday, knocking 13% off Equifax's share price. Equifax knew of the breach on July 29, though, and the three—including the firm's chief financial officer—made unscheduled share sales over the following four days.

In a statement given to Bloomberg, which reported the share sales late Thursday, Equifax spokesperson Ines Gutzmer said the executives "had no knowledge that an intrusion had occurred at the time," and had only sold "a small percentage" of their shares in the company.

According to the report, which was based on regulatory filings, CFO John Gamble sold shares worth $946,374, U.S. information solutions president Joseph Loughran sold shares worth $584,099, and workforce solutions president Rodolfo Ploder sold shares worth $250,458.

The breach took place between mid-May and July, with hackers gaining access to the names, Social Security numbers and driver's license numbers of up to 143 million U.S. consumers, the credit card numbers of around 209,000 U.S. consumers, and "certain dispute documents with personal identifying information" for 182,000 U.S. consumers.

On top of that, the breach also took in what Equifax called "limited personal information" about some U.K. and Canadian residents—a fact that means the company has to now deal with regulators in those countries too. The firm said it had no evidence that information for other countries' citizens was compromised.

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