February 10, 2020
The US indicted 4 Chinese military officers over the Equifax breach.
The Department of Justice announced charges, including conspiracy to commit computer fraud, against four Chinese military hackers for their role in the huge 2017 breach of the credit-reporting company, POLITICO reported.
- Members of China's People's Liberation Army conspired to steal massive amounts of data from Equifax in a sophisticated hacking operation that compromised data on nearly 150 million Americans, the DOJ said.
- "This was an organized and remarkably brazen criminal heist of sensitive information of nearly half of all Americans … by a unit of the Chinese military," Attorney General William Barr said in a statement.
- The data breach was a low point for the company, and set off a wave of investigations from a number of state and federal agencies. Equifax's chief executive Richard Smith stepped down in September 2017, and a former executive was sentenced to federal prison last June for insider trading after selling stock in the company shortly before it publicly announced the breach.
- Equifax agreed to pay up to $700 million last year to resolve investigations and lawsuits from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Federal Trade Commission, 48 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.