Insider analysts now believe that a foreign government was behind the Equifax data hack that impacted 143 million people, to identify and recruit spies.
According to a report from CNBC, several industry experts believe that the Equifax data hack was carried out by a foreign government.
Nearly half of all Americans were impacted by the data breach. The private information that was stolen in the hack included social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, and credit card disputes. Shortly after the data was stolen, it disappeared entirely.
Now, technology industry insiders are trying to figure out exactly what happened. Leading insiders told CNBC this week that they believe a foreign government stole the data to recruit spies
CNBC talked to eight experts, including data “hunters” who scour the dark web for stolen information, senior cybersecurity managers, top executives at financial institutions, senior intelligence officials who played a part in the investigation and consultants who helped support it. All of them agreed that a breach happened, and personal information from 143 million people was stolen.
But none of them knows where the data is now. It’s never appeared on any hundreds of underground websites selling stolen information. Security experts haven’t seen the data used in any of the ways they’d expect in a theft like this — not for impersonating victims, not for accessing other websites, nothing.
But as the investigations continue, a consensus is starting to emerge to explain why the data has disappeared from sight. Most experts familiar with the case now believe that the thieves were working for a foreign government and are using the information not for financial gain, but to try to identify and recruit spies.
The hack has raised questions about the role of credit rating agencies like Equifax which exert enormous influence over Americans. Unlike other large enterprises, Americans do not decide whether or not their credit is rated by agencies like Equifax.
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