Equifax on Thursday said that three of its executives were unaware of a hacking there when they sold stocks mere days after the credit monitoring company found a huge security breach.
Equifax Chief Financial Officer John Gamble and two other executives, Rodolfo Ploder and Joseph Loughran, sold a combined $1.8 million in stock on Aug. 1 and Aug. 2.
“[The executives] had no knowledge that an intrusion had occurred at the time they sold their shares,” Equifax said in a statement.
Equifax on Thursday disclosed that a major cyberattack on its data system occurred between mid-May and July. The attack exposed the sensitive information of roughly 143 million Americans, including their names, Social Security numbers, addresses, and in some cases, driver’s license numbers.
The stock sales effectively safeguarded all three executives from a downturn in Equifax’s stock Thursday after news of the breach emerged.
Equifax’s stock tumbled 13 percent in extended trading following the announcement of the incident.
Some Twitter users on Friday criticized Equifax for not better protecting its customers’ data and personal information.
Evil evil evil. This company was grossly negligent and should be held accountable!!— Mrs.Robinson (@haesc2017) September 8, 2017
We don't care why you screwed up. Maybe in 7 years this will drop this from your record. For now, sorry, there's nothing we can do.— Ed's Idea Factory (@EdsIdeaFactory) September 8, 2017
Equifax said Thursday that “criminals” had exploited an American website application to access its files earlier this year. The Atlanta-based company admitted that credit card numbers for approximately 209,000 U.S. customers were also accessed.
Hackers additionally intruded upon “limited personal information” from British and Canadian residents, Equifax continued.
The consumer credit reporting agency added that it does not believe any consumers from other nations were impacted.
USA Today on Thursday reported that the amount of people who may have had their information improperly accessed accounts for about 44 percent of the overall U.S. population.
Equifax said it analyzes and organizes data on more than 820 million consumers and 91 million businesses across the globe.
“This is clearly a disappointing event for our company, and one that strikes at the heart of who we are and what we do,” Equifax Chairman and CEO Richard Smith said in a statement Thursday.
“I apologize to our consumers and our business customers for the concern and frustration that causes.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.