Equifax Hit With $70 Billion Lawsuit After Leaking 143 Million Social Security Numbers

Tyler Durden's picture

One day after Equifax announced (more than one month after it itself had learned) that its systems had been hacked, resulting in up to 143 million social security numbers, names, addresses, driver’s license data, birth dates, some credit card numbers and pretty much all other critical personal data being leaked and currently for sale somewhere on the dark web, the company whose job is, ironically, to protect the credit and personal information of hundreds of millions of Americans has been hit with a monster class-action lawsuit seeking as much as $70 billion.

In retrospect, we find it surprising that it wasn't multi-trillion lawsuit in light of the galactic stupidity exhibited by a company whose server apparently had zero firewalls from the internet and where any hacker could get access to the most confidential information available.

And while for the most part class action lawsuits are filed by ambulance-chasing lawyers seeking a recovery for a class of plaintiffs in exchange for a juicy 25-40% of the final amount, in this case In the complaint filed in Portland, Ore., federal court has every single merit to ultimately crush Equifax for what is nothing less than unprecedented carelessness in handling precious information.

In the lawsuit, plaintiffs alleged Equifax was negligent in failing to protect consumer data, choosing to save money instead of spending on technical safeguards that could have stopped the attack, Bloomberg reports. Imagine how much angrier they would be if they found that instead of "saving" the money, the company used it instead to buy back its own stock (in this case from selling executives).

“In an attempt to increase profits, Equifax negligently failed to maintain adequate technological safeguards to protect Ms. McHill and Mr. Reinhard’s information from unauthorized access by hackers,” the complaint stated. “Equifax knew and should have known that failure to maintain adequate technological safeguards would eventually result in a massive data breach. Equifax could have and should have substantially increased the amount of money it spent to protect against cyber-attacks but chose not to.” 

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit are Mary McHill and Brook Reinhard. Both reside in Oregon and had their personal information stored by Equifax. Tens of millions more will join the lawsuit shortly once they realize their data has similarly been hacked. Readers can find out if they have been affacted by the leak at the following site.

According to Bloomberg, the case was filed by the firm Olsen Daines PC along with Geragos & Geragos, a celebrity law firm known for blockbuster class actions. Ben Meiselas, an attorney for Geragos, said the class will seek as much as $70 billion in damages nationally.

Finally, as one social media commentator put it, "In retrospect it seems like a really dumb idea to give three random companies access to the entire financial records of every American."

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BaBaBouy's picture

Fucking Serious...
This could be a financial crisis catalyst...

Captain Benny's picture
"Thank You

Based on the information provided, we believe that your personal information may have been impacted by this incident.

Click the button below to continue your enrollment in TrustedID Premier.




Fucking faggots at this place thank me for their fuck up.  Execs go run and hide.  People are coming for you...


Their announcement and FAQ was all about how they expect minimal impact on revenue... Profit.  Blah blah blah.  It was targeting idiots on wall street and not those impacted.

takeaction's picture

Me too....or is this just a scam to get you enrolled in horse shit.  My credit is "FROZEN"  so no worries here.  Have fun fuckers.

HungryPorkChop's picture

I need to look up how to Freeze Credit.  Suggestions?


Croesus's picture

See 2nd comment here: 


Also, this may help (H/t @ Takeaction, for posting this yesterday; I sent it out to my email list this morning, but I'm sure I'll answer the same damn question another 50 times, since that's just how it rolls) : 







JRobby's picture

Give us all your vital information over the internet to freeze your credit because the information given to us over the internet has been compromised.

So give it to us again, or else.

"In retrospect it seems like a really dumb idea to give three random companies access to the entire financial records of every American."

By design. It takes a moment to steal you ID, takes you months to correct it. Hope you have vacation time saved up..........

Captain Benny's picture

Fuck paying Equifax to freeze my info.  They.fucked up.  They deserve to pay me.

swmnguy's picture

No Shit.  All the credit bureaus are scams.  Look around their websites.  They want you to sign up and pay them $20 a month to get the services you're entitled to by Federal law for free, or to purchase meaningless information.

The scams to sell you a glimpse at your FICO score really piss me off.  I was talking to a banker at my credit union, and she said there are so many different formulas for FICO scores that unless you know which one was used, the number doesn't tell you anything.  If a lender is checking you out for an auto loan, it's one formula and one score.  For home mortgage, it's another; for a personal loan, another still; same for credit cards, student loans, insurance rates; they're all different.

And, if you have a good relationship with your bank or credit union, they'll pull a relevant score for you and tell you, no problem.  And that would be a meaningful score, and they'd tell you which one they pulled and what it means.

So, would I pay Equifax to protect my info which they've already left out there to be stolen?  Is this some kind of joke?  I went on Experian's website last night and posted a 90-day Fraud Alert.  They have to post that fraud alert to Equifax and TransUnion, so any credit issuer has to check with me by phone and e-mail before issuing any credit in my name.  The last god-damn people I'd trust to do that for me now would be Equifax.  

The only thing worse than a con-man is an arrogant, condescending con-man.

And how 'bout the CFO and the two other executives from Equifax who've sold $1,800,000 in personally-held Equifax stock in the 42 days or so between when the hack occured and when they admitted it publicly?  If they're not in handcuffs tout de suite then Jefferson Beauregard Sessions can lick my taint.  That is, if he's not too busy busting pot-smokers, seizing people's assets by unConstitutional means and beating up on kids whose parents broke immigration law.

allamerican's picture

i  have experian monitor.  you think i've heard shit out of these fuckers. nope!

fico is generally a fuckin joke.

equifax- class action.  another fucking joke.....

ufos8mycow's picture

Read the fine print fellas. If you sign up for the credit monitoring you also give up your right to ask for relief in court. You give Equifax the right to take it to arbitration.

cornedmutton's picture

You had me all the way up until you mentioned DREAMERs.  Fuck them.  If your parents robbed and bank, and gave the money to you, that's cool then?  Ill-gotten gains are theirs to keep?  What about the victims?  What do they get?  A big, FUCK YOU.  That's what.

TheMexican's picture

Scam city. They access your information with out your permission then charge you to protect it. How is this not illegal?

kommissar's picture

clark howard has a guide on this, and is a huge advocate.

Anon2017's picture

How do you know that your 10 digit PIN number for your "FROZEN" account has not been compromised? I talked to an Equifax employee about this issue this morning and was not reassured that he understood my question. I have had a freeze in place for 12 years with no problems, up to now. I will not be signing up for any subscription based credit monitoring services.

WillyGroper's picture

tell me this mofo isn't complicit!

Gamble has an MBA from Columbia Business School and and a bachelor’s of science in electrical and electronics engineering from Cornell University.

Got The Wrong No's picture

I got the same message as did my Lady. This is some serious Shit.

DumpsterFire's picture

I guess this is a good time to buy some identity protection company stock.  I'm sure identity protection will be part of the settlement.

Never One Roach's picture

So now we have clear justification for crucifixion of these Equifax execs imho.

Water boarding is too generous a penalty.

Get Sessons out of freaking bed and put him to work for God's sake!

DumpsterFire's picture

Well, the execs sold their stocks one day after the breach and claimed it was a coincidence.  I bet they took shot positions soon after.  They better hope the incompetent SEC does not find something they can prosecute, they might be fined 10% of what they "earned".

Never One Roach's picture

At the minimum the trades should be reversed.

At the maximum, hanging at dawn.

therover's picture

Come on Roach...at the MINIMUM, they should be hung.

JRobby's picture

By design, for the banks

1777's picture

With some quick math that equates to about 56 dollars per victim!

Under achievers...

ReasonForLife's picture

I wouldn't be surprised if someone in Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, etc. that works in their customer service center and has access to all your info, made an early retirement gift to him/herself at the expense of half the United States.

Soul Glow's picture

This isn't a signal of anything to come or anything like that....

Ignatius's picture

"In retrospect it seems like a really dumb idea to give three random companies access to the entire financial records of every American."

Understatement of the year.

Doom Porn Star's picture

We aren't Constituionally required to have Social Security numbers.   

The liars in government promised that SS#s weren't going to be used for taxation and financial oppression schemes.

The Statists wanted to steal out of every single paycheck before it could even be cashed.  

The taxation is all that mattered.  Your information and credit availability were not even second thoughts to these ravenous bureaucratic scum.

buzzsaw99's picture

that's almost as stupid as letting s&p rate bonds, for money, paid by the purveyors of said bonds.

yogibear's picture

Yeah, rating junk as AAA and nobody jailed.

Getting bailed out by the taxpayer and made wealthier to do an even larger criminal scheme.

Fizzy Head's picture

so where do I sign up for my $20 on this ?

0Theorem's picture

$70B/143M = $489 - Legal fee = 20. yep about right.

Seasmoke's picture

Good. That's one down. 2 to go. Fuck your FICO Score !!!

sniffybigtoe's picture

Yeah, it said they got me.  I'm getting paid!

Alfred's picture

How do you know the link isn't a scam too?

After 999 tries, at most,  they'll have your last name and ssn too!

Unprotected by firewalls? I'm calling bullshit on that.

If that's the case this data was given away not stolen.

Chaos to beget chaos. Its all bullshit.

E.F. Mutton's picture

Class Action: Where lawyers get tens of millions, and you get $37.50 and some Domino's Pizza Coupons

buzzsaw99's picture

i'll take it.  $37.50 plus coupons is $37.50 plus coupons more than i had before this fiasco happened.

Ignorance is bliss's picture

That's almost two ounces of silver...

Able Ape's picture

The IT staff will probably end up in cushy Federal Government positions with 6-figure salaries...

SoDamnMad's picture

Or they will lose their H1-B visas.

Bam_Man's picture

...or working for the DNC.

youngman's picture

Is that a lawsuit or a blackmail request for the guy with the numbers

roadhazard's picture

That was quick. Show me the money.

gregga777's picture

And then the CCCC (Criminal Crony Capitalist CONporation) Equifucked hasn't even bothered to notify anyone that their personal identification information has been stolen. Instead the CCCC (Criminal Crony Capitalist CONporate) executives traded on inside information by selling their personal stock in Equifucked. Well, I suppose that they were just doing what they were trained to do in American Business School: use the CONporation as a vehicle for self-enrichment through self-dealing.

Doom Porn Star's picture

"executives traded on inside information by selling their personal stock "

Insider trading.

Asset stripping and very long prison sentances for all involved is the proper and legal resolution.


DoJ and SEC should have already walked in and shut Equifax down and caged the management.


EDIT: Denninger is certainly worth cross posting today as he is 100% right on this one.


youngman's picture

Yeah its funny how the first thing they worried about was getting their stock sold....

Osmium's picture

This news should be enough to push the markets to all time highs.

JBilyj's picture

70 billion is chump change, hike it up even more!