Equifax spends $87.5M on data breach, profits tank 27% following incident

Equifax spent $87.5 million in the third quarter on efforts to recover from a massive data breach that affected 143 million consumers, according to a disclosure on the company's earnings statement released Nov. 9.

In July, the consumer credit reporting agency discovered an intrusion in which cybercriminals gained access to files through a website application vulnerability, compromising customers' names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver's license numbers, credit card numbers and dispute documents. Equifax notified affected individuals to the breach in September, after which a number of upper level executives — including the company's CEO — stepped down.

The company reported revenue of $834.8 million in the third quarter of 2017, a 4 percent increase compared to the third quarter of 2016. However, Equifax's net income was down 27 percent at $96.3 million and diluted earnings per share was $0.79, a 28 percent drop compared to one year prior.

"[W]e recognize that we have an important journey in front of us to regain the trust and confidence of consumers and our business customers," said Paulino Barros, interim CEO at Equifax. "Our teams have taken immediate actions to improve our data security and provide improved support for consumers who were impacted by our cybersecurity incident.  As we look to the future, I have committed Equifax to four things: protecting consumers, enhancing our security, empowering consumers to control access to personal credit data and leading our industry to confront the massive economic and national security threats represented by cybercriminals."

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