Equifax gets a John Oliver roasting

Comedian John Oliver on his HBO show “Last Week Tonight” lambasted Equifax and its response to a massive cybersecurity breach in which the personal data of 145.5 million Americans was compromised. 

{mosads}Oliver underscored the magnitude of the attack both in its volume and the extent it can affect consumers, whose identities could be stolen at any point for the rest of their lives.

The late-night host also took aim at three Equifax executives — John Gamble, Joseph Loughran and Rodolfo Ploder — who unloaded almost $2 million worth of Equifax stock and options in the days following the company’s realization of the breach.

Skeptics immediately questioned the three for insider trading, a claim that the Department of Justice is currently investigating.

Equifax says that Gamble, Loughran and Ploder were not notified of the breach when they sold their stocks.

{mosads}“Wow selling stock before the public knows there’s a problem is one of those things that looks suspicious whether or not you’re actually doing something wrong,” Oliver said. “It’s like walking into a petting zoo with a bib on. What exactly are you planning on messily devouring in there?”

Bipartisan leaders of the Senate Finance Committee similarly pointed out how suspicious the circumstances of the trades appear during a Sept. 11 hearing on the matter.

Oliver also hammered Equifax for letting the breach happen in the first place.

“Apparently there were multiple points where this hack could have been prevented and one of them is incredible,” Oliver said.

“Equifax was alerted by Homeland Security back in March that they needed to fix a critical vulnerability in their software. But as lawmakers discovered at a recent hearing, that’s not what happened,” he continued before showing a clip of House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) noting that the sole person at Equifax tasked with updating the patch failed to do so.

The late night host argued that regardless of heavy consumer outrage and lawmaker scrutiny, little will change unless the businesses who Equifax services demand change.

“[Your] anger won’t make much difference to Equifax because they make most of their money selling our data to businesses like banks, so in their eyes, we’re not the consumer, we’re the product,” Oliver said.

“Think of it in terms like KFC. We’re not the guy buying 10 piece buckets, we’re the f–king chickens.”


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