Former Equifax CEO testifies in front of Congress

3 months 2 weeks 4 days ago Tuesday, October 03 2017 Oct 3, 2017 Tuesday, October 03, 2017 4:16:00 PM CDT October 03, 2017 in News
By: Seth Fiegerman and Donna Borak, CNN

(CNN Money) -- Equifax just got grilled by Congress for the first time over its breach. Or at least one of its former executives did.

Richard Smith, the former CEO of Equifax, testified Tuesday morning before the House Energy and Commerce Committee about the credit reporting firm's massive security breach.

Smith apologized numerous times throughout the hearing for the breach and said it was the result of "human error and technological error."

"The criminal hack happened on my watch... I take full responsibility," he said in opening remarks. "I'm here today to say to each and every person affected by this breach I'm truly and deeply sorry for what happened."

Congress members were unsatisfied with Smith's apologies. "You're just required to notify everybody and say, 'So sorry, so sad,'" Rep. Joe Barton told Smith.

Barton said it's time "some teeth" be imposed on the federal level, possibly by requiring credit agencies to pay consumers when their accounts are hacked.

On Monday, Equifax said its breach potentially affected 2.5 million more people than it had previously stated. The total number of people involved may now be as much as 145.5 million.

Related: How the Equifax data breach happened: What we know now

Federal agencies, state officials and members of Congress are currently probing Equifax over its data security practices, customer service response and the possibility of insider trading from executives.

The breach compromised some of our most sensitive personal information, including Social Security numbers, addresses, and driver's license numbers.

Smith was pressed early in the hearing about executive stock sales that took place before the hack was disclosed to the public. He said the three executives who sold stock were not aware of the breach.

"I don't know exactly the date they were informed, but to the best of my knowledge they had no knowledge at the time," he said.

In another exchange, Smith said he had "no indication of a breach" prior to the date of the stock sales, only of "suspicious activity."

Smith faced questions from legislators about Equifax's botched response to the breach, the months-long delay in announcing it and whether consumers will be compensated for damage caused by identity theft.

Rep. Greg Walden, the Republican chairman of the House subcommittee, pledged Tuesday to hold Equifax and Smith accountable. But he said, "I don't think I can pass a law that, excuse me for saying, fixes stupid."

"How could a major U.S. company like Equifax, which holds the most sensitive personal data on Americans, so let them down?" Walden said in opening remarks at the hearing. "It's like the guards at Fort Knox forgot to lock the doors and failed to notice thieves emptying the vaults."

Smith said he would expect Equifax to "cooperate" with "particular legislation that arises out of this horrific breach."

The former CEO's appearance Tuesday marks the first in a series of Equifax hearings in Washington. On Wednesday, Smith will testify twice -- before the Senate Banking Committee and a Senate Judiciary subcommittee on privacy. And on Thursday he will appear before the House Financial Services committee.

Smith stepped down as CEO three weeks after the breach was announced to the public.

After three hours of grilling, Democrats said today's hearing was not sufficient, pressing for additional hearings with the current Equifax executives, including the CIO and chief legal officer.

"I don't think this is resolved," said Rep. Anna Eshoo.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA – Some students were “striving” for a new learning experience Thursday night. Parents of students with autism gathered... More >>
2 days ago Thursday, January 18 2018 Jan 18, 2018 Thursday, January 18, 2018 7:22:00 PM CST January 18, 2018 in News
FULTON - The Callaway County Sheriff’s Office is using more than $16,000 seized during a 2013 drug investigation for a... More >>
2 days ago Thursday, January 18 2018 Jan 18, 2018 Thursday, January 18, 2018 7:08:00 PM CST January 18, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Several department directors for Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens have finally won Senate confirmation for their... More >>
2 days ago Thursday, January 18 2018 Jan 18, 2018 Thursday, January 18, 2018 5:01:08 PM CST January 18, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Amazon has announced its list of 20 cities for a second headquarters, and both big... More >>
2 days ago Thursday, January 18 2018 Jan 18, 2018 Thursday, January 18, 2018 4:57:51 PM CST January 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- State-of-the-art technology is coming to the Columbia Fire Department, and improving many facets that help firefighters do their jobs.... More >>
2 days ago Thursday, January 18 2018 Jan 18, 2018 Thursday, January 18, 2018 4:31:00 PM CST January 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – This season’s frigid temperatures mean a rise in frozen pipes around the city. Lucia Bourgeois, communications specialist... More >>
3 days ago Thursday, January 18 2018 Jan 18, 2018 Thursday, January 18, 2018 3:48:00 PM CST January 18, 2018 in News
MACON - Crews tore down a 100-year-old piece of Macon's history Thursday. Four years ago, courts condemned the old Macon... More >>
3 days ago Thursday, January 18 2018 Jan 18, 2018 Thursday, January 18, 2018 2:07:00 PM CST January 18, 2018 in Top Stories
JEFFERSON CITY - Governor Eric Greitens released an outline of his plan for state tax reform on Thursday. The outline... More >>
3 days ago Thursday, January 18 2018 Jan 18, 2018 Thursday, January 18, 2018 1:28:00 PM CST January 18, 2018 in News
CAMDEN COUNTY - A former sheriff's deputy already facing charges of child pornography and child molestation faces more charges in... More >>
3 days ago Thursday, January 18 2018 Jan 18, 2018 Thursday, January 18, 2018 12:47:00 PM CST January 18, 2018 in Top Stories
MONTGOMERY COUNTY - One man was hospitalized after a car driving the wrong way crashed into his vehicle, according to... More >>
3 days ago Thursday, January 18 2018 Jan 18, 2018 Thursday, January 18, 2018 12:37:00 PM CST January 18, 2018 in News
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri Department of Corrections employee is charged with using a hidden camera to film... More >>
3 days ago Thursday, January 18 2018 Jan 18, 2018 Thursday, January 18, 2018 8:14:00 AM CST January 18, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A northwest Missouri lawmaker has donated a kidney as part of a transplant chain to... More >>
3 days ago Thursday, January 18 2018 Jan 18, 2018 Thursday, January 18, 2018 8:00:00 AM CST January 18, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri's unemployment rate has edged up slightly. Data released Wednesday by the state Department... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, January 17 2018 Jan 17, 2018 Wednesday, January 17, 2018 7:26:31 PM CST January 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Citing new testimony from a state school board member, a Springfield teacher is asking a... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, January 17 2018 Jan 17, 2018 Wednesday, January 17, 2018 7:22:00 PM CST January 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Professional hair braiders would face fewer regulations under a bill passed by the Missouri House.... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, January 17 2018 Jan 17, 2018 Wednesday, January 17, 2018 7:15:17 PM CST January 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Some Special Olympics athletes are ready for prom after choosing their perfect dress from more than 100 that... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, January 17 2018 Jan 17, 2018 Wednesday, January 17, 2018 7:04:00 PM CST January 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The next step in construction of a new middle school in Columbia is a public vote scheduled for... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, January 17 2018 Jan 17, 2018 Wednesday, January 17, 2018 7:00:00 PM CST January 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - With the Jan. 19 deadline looming for Congress to pass a federal spending bill and keep the... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, January 17 2018 Jan 17, 2018 Wednesday, January 17, 2018 6:46:00 PM CST January 17, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 70°
4pm 68°
5pm 66°
6pm 64°
7pm 58°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

4:00p
USSA Skiing and Snowboarding
5:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 5
5:30p
NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt
4:00p
Rules of Engagement
4:30p
Rules of Engagement
5:00p
The Goldbergs

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Little Big Shots
8:00p
Ellen's Game of Games
9:00p
Ellen's Game of Games
7:00p
Look Who's Talking
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Family Guy