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Threat Intelligence

9/15/2017
07:35 PM
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Equifax CIO, CSO Step Down

Embattled credit-monitoring company names interim replacements for both positions and outlines more details about the massive breach.

Equifax late today announced that its chief information officer and chief security officer were "retiring" and "effective immediately."

While the credit-monitoring firm did not include the executives' names in its announcement, Equifax's website lists David Webb as Equifax CIO. Webb, who has served as CIO since 2010, will be replaced by interim CIO Mark Rohrwasser, who has been with the company since last year and led Equifax's international IT operations. 

According to Boardroom Insiders, Susan Mauldin is Equifax's CSO, and has been with the company since 2013. She will be replaced by Russ Ayres, who most recently served as vice president in its IT department.

Equifax said it first observed suspicious network traffic on July 29 that appeared to come from its US online dispute portal Web application. The security team blocked that traffic, but another wave came through the next day. The security team then took the affected Web application offline.

When Equifax drilled deeper into the problem, it found a vulnerability in the Apache Struts Web application framework (CVE-2017-5638), and determined that flaw was the initial attack vector.

"Upon discovering a vulnerability in the Apache Struts web application framework as the initial attack vector, Equifax patched the affected web application before bringing it back online," Equifax stated.

The Apache Struts patch for the flaw was first made available in early March.

"Equifax's Security organization was aware of this vulnerability at that time, and took efforts to identify and to patch any vulnerable systems in the company's IT infrastructure," Equifax stated. "While Equifax fully understands the intense focus on patching efforts, the company's review of the facts is still ongoing. The company will release additional information when available."

Read more about the Equifax statement here.

 

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Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
9/26/2017 | 12:46:38 PM
Re: Make the Data Worthless for the Bad Guys!
If I understand it correctly, all this proposal does is implement controls such that it changes the information that attackers will want to steal (while, at the same time, implementing an additional accessibility barrier to legitimate users).

Also, how long should the PIN be? And what happens when an expected 17% of the population chooses one of the same two easy-to-remember PINs?
mjohnson681
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mjohnson681,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/25/2017 | 9:35:41 PM
Re: Make the Data Worthless for the Bad Guys!
Joe- You are missing the point. If we make data they want to steal worthless by implementing proper controls, isnt that the solution? Or do you have better ideas on how to leverages the billions spent every year for imperfect information security?
Joe Stanganelli
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50%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
9/25/2017 | 8:31:06 PM
Re: Make the Data Worthless for the Bad Guys!
I'm not sure "Just give everyone a PIN" is the ultimate solution for everything -- especially considering how easily those PINs can become compromised. You're just exchanging one set of private information for another.
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
9/25/2017 | 8:29:21 PM
Re: Physician, heal thyself
I think in this case, the "pros" are Mandiant.
Joe Stanganelli
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50%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
9/25/2017 | 8:28:01 PM
Re: Equifax should not be allowed to continue
@gwilson: Well, if they were C-suiters, then that certainly does say something.

Of course, which C-suiters is a big question -- especially given how loosely the C-level titles are being handed out. Chief Data Officer. Chief Digital Officer. Chief Procurement Officer. Chief Customer Success Officer. Chief Making Sure the Bathrooms Don't Run Out of Paper Towels Officer.

Not that I know what Equifax's precise structure is. But just saying.

Big difference between the CIO or the CISO selling their stock and any of these nascent C titles -- or even the CMO, say.
gwilson001
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gwilson001,
User Rank: Strategist
9/25/2017 | 6:55:23 PM
Re: Equifax should not be allowed to continue
I believe they were 'C' level executives and you know they were among the first to know about something this severe.  I realize the term Executive is loosely defined but in this case these were not mid-level executives or any other flavor of management - they were the top guys and had to have known about this - if they didn't then the company is mismanaged to an even greater level.
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
9/22/2017 | 11:29:01 PM
Re: Equifax should not be allowed to continue
@gw: To be fair, unless I'm simply underinformed, we've been told nothing about the position of the executives or even if they're senior executives. "Executive" is such a generic term these days that it is commonly used to refer to any corporate-office worker who is not a secretary. Moreover, we have no idea if the executives have any position involving security, data privacy, data governance, or anything else such that they would have known.

Equifax is a HUGE company. It's entirely possible (and possibly even likely) that 3 "executives" may have innocently sold their stock in that interim period.

Of course, if these are executives who were well placed to know and act on this information, then those factors shift. But until and unless we know the exact positions of those executives, the court of public opinion is likely to be wrong.

(None of this is to excuse Equifax's apparently horrendous security practices, in any case. What a disaster.)
cybersavior
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cybersavior,
User Rank: Strategist
9/19/2017 | 11:39:29 AM
Physician, heal thyself
Equifax should bring in the pros.  http://www.equifax.com/help/data-breach-solutions/
mjohnson681
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0%
mjohnson681,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/18/2017 | 8:23:15 PM
Make the Data Worthless for the Bad Guys!
It is apparent we cannot protect data effectively.  Why not make it worthless to those who steal it?

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/give-up-cybersecurity-programs-matthew-r-johnson-cpa-cisa 
gwilson001
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gwilson001,
User Rank: Strategist
9/18/2017 | 2:55:28 PM
Equifax should not be allowed to continue
Equifax has shown that they are not capable of protecting our most valuable persoanl data.  Data which we cannot opt-out of having collected by these aggreagators.  There is no way that Equifax should have another chance to lose our persoanl data.  They need to be shut down and those responsible should face charges for gross negligence. Firing a few people is not enough.  Equifax has handled this in the worst possible way.  They bshould fire their PR firm.

The 3 executives that sold stock before the loss was announced absolutly knew about the breach.  A breach this size is not kept from the top executives in the company - they knew and they illegally sold their stocks.  The sale was not a scheduled transaction according to reports.  Jail time for these guys is a must.
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