The latest mega breach is a big one. This week Equifax announced that it had suffered a breach of data belonging to as many as 143 million Americans. That’s about half the country. Worse, the breached data was sensitive: names, social security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and some driver’s license numbers. Even in a world where mega breaches are commonplace, this one is staggering in both scope and severity. The total impact is impossible to foresee, but it so far it has been swift and harsh for the company.
Equifax stock tumbled 13% today, though there has been a modest rebound in afterhours trading, as of writing. Multiple state and federal agencies are initiating investigations. News broke that three Equifax executives sold stock after the company discovered the breach in June, but before Equifax announced the stock. The company responded that the executives had no knowledge of the breach at the time of the transactions, but the timing could not be much worse. (And right after the SEC put consideration of an insider trading rule on the backburner despite some uncertainty arising in the courts.) To add to the problem of perception – there’s no indication that the sales were prescheduled under a 10b5-1 plan.Read more here.