Dem senator calls on FTC to probe Equifax

Dem senator calls on FTC to probe Equifax
© Greg Nash

Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerHeitkamp becomes first Dem to back Pompeo for secretary of State Dems walk tightrope on Pompeo nomination Amid struggle for votes, GOP plows ahead with Cabinet picks MORE (D-Va.) is calling on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate the Equifax breach that compromised the personal information of 143 million Americans.

Warner, who serves as the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, wants the FTC to examine Equifax’s cybersecurity practices leading up to and following the breach.

“Press reports and cybersecurity experts have identified a number of security lapses, including in the days following Equifax’s disclosure of the breach, that potentially indicate a pattern of security failings,” Warner wrote in a letter to FTC acting Chairwoman Maureen K. Ohlhausen.


Warner, the co-founder of the Senate Cybersecurity Caucus, criticized tools that Equifax released in the wake of the breach to help individuals find out if they were affected.

Warner cited reports that found typing “test” in the name input and “123456” in the social security number input returned a confirmed breach.

“These lapses may potentially represent a systemic failure by firms currently incentivized to collect and store highly sensitive identification and financial data for Americans,” Warner said. “The volume and sensitivity of the data involved — information critical to identity management and access to consumer credit — distinguishes this breach from many other breaches of consumer data.”

The FTC did not immediately respond to The Hill’s request for comment on the matter. So far, the agency has only issued guidance to consumers potentially affected by the breach.

Warner called Congress’s work in the financial cybersecurity space “unfinished,” hinting that he would like lawmakers to potentially offer new legislation.

The Senate Cybersecurity Caucus co-founder has made similar calls for legislation in the wake of massive breaches at other companies like Yahoo.

Warner joins a slew of lawmakers who have called for closer scrutiny of Equifax in the wake of the breach, with lawmakers such as Sen. Brian SchatzBrian Emanuel SchatzOvernight Tech: AT&T chief takes the stand to defend merger | Facebook keeps most users out of EU data law's reach | HUD reopens probe into Facebook housing ads | Venture capital firms go to bat for cryptocurrencies Facebook investigated over alleged housing discrimination Senate confirms Trump’s pick to lead NASA MORE (D-Hawaii) repeatedly pressing Equifax on the matter.

House committees including the Energy and Commerce as well as Finance committees have said they’ll hold hearings on the hacks. The Senate Commerce and Finance committees both penned letters to the company demanding more answers about the breach.