Equifax: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)


Equifax The company whose name sounds like a theatrical production in which Daniel Radcliffe, plays a horse -that fucks a fax machine

-(AUDIENCE LAUGHING) Now Equifax, is one of the big three credit reporting agencies The companies who keep financial data on all of us So that people like uh, lenders and landlords can decide, whether or not we are trustworthy So, Equifax controls some of our most sensitive information and about a month ago, we learned this NEWSCASTER 1: Breaking news from the credit monitoring company, Equifax

Cyber thieves making off with private information of 143 million Americans, nearly half the US Population It's actually worse It's now 145 million Americans and I have got good news and bad news there

The good news is that by "private information" they don't mean your Google search history, so, nobody yet knows about the time you searched for, "wario porn (real)," or "world's richest dogs looking for assistants," or "can loneliness cause the farts?" (AUDIENCE LAUGHING) But the bad news is, the information they got, could well be all this NEWSCASTER 2: It's your name, social security number, birth date, driver's license and addresses where you lived, information that is mostly permanent unless you're in federal witness protection -(AUDIENCE LAUGHING) -Wow! Okay, so, that does sound bad, but here's a simple solution, just move 145 million people into the witness protection program That means Jones' uh, you are the Thompson's, uh, Thompson's you're the Campbell's, Campbell's you're the Mendoza's, Mendoza's, you're the Jones' Wait– wait hold on, Jones' you shouldn't be there, I made you the Thompson's

No, Thompson's I made you the Campbell's Campbell's, you're the Mendoza's Mendoza's, why are you there? You should be living in the Jones' house in Phoenix Oh no, I shouldn't have said Phoenix -Oh God, the Jones' are dead! -(AUDIENCE LAUGHING) -The Jones' are dead! -(AUDIENCE APPLAUDING) Forget the whole plan, I was just trying to help! I'm sorry for trying! Oh, they're dead! (AUDIENCE LAUGHING) -(AUDIENCE APPLAUDING) -And– and I know– -I know there might be

-(AUDIENCE APPLAUDING) some younger people watching this and, well hold on– who cares? We're the first generation to routinely send pictures of our junk to each other -over the internet -(AUDIENCE LAUGHING) Why should we give a shit about someone seeing our social security numbers? But you should know, criminals can do a lot more with that number than they can with a picture of your dick This information is gonna be sold left and right on the black market People are gonna be able to open up credit cards for the rest of your life once they have that information They can go out and purchase a home in your name

They can open bank accounts, take car loans Someone who has your social security number could actually take a job, they could file taxes and even claim your kids as dependents and be gone with your refund before you ever actually file a tax return No! No! No, the tax benefit, is the whole point of having children -(AUDIENCE LAUGHING) -Without that, all you're left with is your actual children -(AUDIENCE LAUGHING) -Which, you know

-Ugh! -(AUDIENCE LAUGHING) The point here is, it's a huge problem and in any other era, this would've been the biggest news story for a month, but– but now that every day's headline is simply the words, "Everything batshit bananas again today," -(AUDIENCE LAUGHING) -it slipped under the radar, but it is worth asking, "How the hell did this happen?" Because the short answer is, the people in-charge have done literally everything wrong And let's start with just– just the way that Equifax told us about the hack In early September, their then CEO, Rick Smith, a man with a face and name so bland he may as well be called, "Human Person," or "Frasier re-run

" -(AUDIENCE LAUGHING) -He issued a taped apology, but his remorse seemed a little less than heart felt On July 29th of this year, we discovered that attackers had gained unauthorized access to certain Equifax data files This is clearly a disappointing event and one that strikes at the heart of who we are and what we do -Holy shit! -(AUDIENCE LAUGHING) Rick Smith is so alarmingly mechanical you probably have to put him in rice every time he gets wet -(AUDIENCE LAUGHING) -Now, notably he mentioned there that Equifax learned about the breach on July 29th, but even more notably that video was uploaded in September, which is, and this is true, after July So, Equifax knew about the breach for nearly six weeks before telling the public and they claim that they needed that time because the investigation was "complex and time consuming" Although, that's not all that happened in that time span

NEWSCASTER 3: Three Equifax executives sold nearly two million dollars in company stock, days after the data breach was discovered Wow! Selling stock before the public knows there's a problem is one of those thing that looks suspicious whether or not you're actually doing something wrong It's like, walking into a petting zoo, with a bib on What exactly are you planning -on messily devouring in there? -(AUDIENCE LAUGHING) And Equifax defended that saying, none of the executives in question including their Chief Financial Officer knew about the data breach, which raises another question, -"How is that even possible?" -(AUDIENCE LAUGHING) Did they just ignore emails with the subject lines, "Breach!" "Following up on breach!" "Where the fuck are you? Breach, breach, breach!" And, "Just spoke to you in person about breach and you just stared blankly at me, and then said, 'I'm gonna order from the salad place'" (AUDIENCE LAUGHING) And if you are getting frustrated already with this kind of incompetence, you're gonna need to pace yourself, because this story, gets a lot worse

Apparently, there were multiple points where this hack could have been prevented and one of them is incredible, because Equifax were 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 There was one person apparently, who forgot to tell somebody that they had a piece of software that needed to be patched Yeah, it is not ideal, that a company guarding such valuable information leaves something that important down to one person It's like finding out that Chase Bank has a big red button labeled, "Lose everyone's money, and the only thing stopping anyone from pushing it, -is Frank

" -(AUDIENCE LAUGHING) And look, I love Frank I love the guy, but what if he has to pee? (AUDIENCE LAUGHING) A– and I want to tell you that this is an anomaly, but Equifax has had multiple headline-grabbing breaches over the years, and that is not even counting smaller incidents like this I checked my credit report the other day online with Equifax That was it, and next thing I know I have 300 pieces of mail sittin' in my mailbox NEWSCASTER 4: Every single one of these is addressed to her, but they're not hers Instead, she got other people's credit reports Now, names, social security numbers, dates of birth, current and previous addresses bank and loan account numbers, all stacked up on a kitchen table in Biddeford -(AUDIENCE GROANING) -Yeah, I mean, that not great, is it? And it really should have set off red flags at Equifax, when hundreds of different credit reports were being mailed to the same address

What exactly did you think had happened there that every single Fraggle checks their credit at once, down at Fraggle Rock? -Down at Fraggle Rock? -(AUDIENCE CLAPPING) -Now– very nice -(AUDIENCE LAUGHING) -And– -(AUDIENCE LAUGHING) And I know that other companies have had breaches but none remotely as damaging as this new Equifax one, 'cause remember, this isn't Target exposing customer's credit cards This is compromising social security numbers the things that thieves could use to open new credit cards in your name and if your information was stolen, which remember, is about a 50-50 chance, it could haunt you forever You don't change your birth date, you don't change your social security number Those who've been, uh, jeopardized by this hack will have to protect themselves for years, until they're dead

It's true and just think about that There is only one other thing that you have to constantly protect yourself from until you're dead -And that's fucking death! -(AUDIENCE LAUGHING) And you would hope that Equifax would do a decent job of mitigating the damage After all, they did have nearly six weeks to work on a response, but instead, their fuck ups continued For instance, they created a website for concerned consumers to go to, but then this happened: The site that Equifax started is called Equifax Security 2017

But a developer named Nick Sweeting, wanted to show, how easy it is to create a similar fake site, so he did He called it, Security Equifax 2017 (AUDIENCE GROANING) Exactly, someone created a fake site and if you're thinking, "Well, who would be dumb enough to fall for that?" Equifax! That's who! Because they tweeted links to that fake site at least eight times! (AUDIENCE LAUGHING IN DISBELIEF) Despite the fact that site had a couple of tiny clues that it might be fake from the headline reading, "Why did Equifax use a domain that's so easily impersonated by phishing sites?" to the fact that when you clicked on their Frequently Asked Questions, this happened ♪ ("NEVER GONNA GIVE YOU UP" BY RICK ASTLEY PLAYING) ♪ (AUDIENCE LAUGHING AND CHEERING) Well played pranksters, you have my respect But look, don't worry

Equifax says that they are tightening up their operation And to see how well that they've done on that, You– you can just go to, equifaxfraudpreventioncom, not because it's their site but because it's our site We bought it two days ago, and if you'll go there you'll find the message, "How were we still able to do this? Why haven't you learned anything?" (AUDIENCE LAUGHING) But wait– wait! Because there is even more 'Cause Equifax also offered consumers a year of free credit monitoring but when people tried to sign-up for the service, they noted something

Guess what? You lock into Equifax terms of service -when sign-up for it, -Ah! which means that you can't sue the company You've gotta resolve any disputes in forced arbitration Exactly! You'll be giving up your right to sue So legally, your best recourse at that point would be, shaking your fist at the heavens while shouting, "Equifax!" (AUDIENCE LAUGHING) Now, they– they've since rescinded that clause, although many frustrated people are now signing up for third party credit monitoring services like, LifeLock, who've been advertising everywhere And they've seen a real surge in business in the wake of this breach, although, if you're considering LifeLock because you are mad at Equifax, there is something you're gonna need to know

According to filings with the SCC, LifeLock purchases credit monitoring services from -Equifax -(AUDIENCE LAUGHING NERVOUSLY) And that means someone buys credit monitoring through LifeLock LifeLock turns around and passes some of that revenue directly along to Equifax Is that right Mr Smith? That is correct

(AUDIENCE LAUGHING IN DISBELIEF) (AUDIENCE LAUGHING) -It's true Some of– -(AUDIENCE APPLAUDING) some of the money that you pay to LifeLock goes right back to fucking Equifax, which could only be more infuriating if you then found out that the rest of it goes to Toys For Todds A charity that purchases sex toys -for grown men named Todd -(AUDIENCE LAUGHING) Buy your own sex toys Todd, we can't carry you on this one (AUDIENCE LAUGHING) And look, Equifax connections aside, LifeLock has had repeated issues itself, including settlements with the FTC and a truly disastrous ad campaign a few years back

I'm Todd Davis, and I'm here to prove just how safe your identity can be with LifeLock That's my real social security number Yeah, LifeLock's then-CEO Todd Davis, actually put his real social security number, 457-55-5462, on a truck and billboards For a time, it was impossible to escape his social security number, -457-55-5462 -(AUDIENCE CHUCKLING) And that was a very cocky move and one that resulted in him having his identity stolen -13 times

-(AUDIENCE APPLAUDING) And I'm guessing, that the defense for the people who took it was, "I didn't steal his identity I literally got it off the back of a truck" -(AUDIENCE LAUGHING) -So, to put it mildly, LifeLock, may not be your best solution to the Equifax crisis, which brings us to the question, "What is?" Well, consumer advocates told us that the one big step everyone should take, is to go through all three large credit reporting companies, that's Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, and freeze your credit That way no one can access it, including you, until you unfreeze it Now the companies also offer their own credit protection products, with names like, Trusted ID or Credit Lock Plus But, they are often more expensive and offer fewer consumer protection

So, if you need a way to remember this, locks, are something you don't want Think of Justin Bieber's dreadlocks -(AUDIENCE LAUGHING) -A terrible decision to be avoided! Whereas freezes are great Uh, think of this tiny penguin losing its frozen mind ♪ (UPBEAT MUSIC PLAYING) ♪ See! So, to recap, -locks, oof, freezes, wee! -(AUDIENCE LAUGHING) Now– now, here is the thing– here's the thing on this

Freezing and unfreezing of your credit can cost money which will go back to these companies, because seemingly, they just can't fucking lose on this And if you need any more proof of that, on the very same day that Congress was yelling at Equifax's former CEO, it emerged that the company had just been awarded a seven-million-dollar contract by the IRS, to prevent fraud, which led one senator to make a pretty brutal comparison You realize, to many Americans right now, that looks like uh we're giving Lindsay "Lohawn" the keys to the mini bar (AUDIENCE LAUGHING IN SHOCK,) APPLAUDING) I understand your point That was the pause of man thinking, "Do I let that pass?" "Do I correct him on how to pronounce Lohan?" -(AUDIENCE LAUGHING) -Or do I double down and pronounce her name, "Lingonberry Lahoni Baloney" (AUDIENCE LAUGHING) And you should know– you should know that IRS deal has been suspended, not cancelled by the way, just suspended And that might make you angry but the problem is, that anger won't have much impact on Equifax

Because they make most of their money selling our data to businesses, like banks So, in their eyes, we are not the consumer, we're the product To think of it in terms of KFC We are not the guy buying the ten-piece buckets, -we're the fucking chickens! -(AUDIENCE LAUGHING) So, for the time being, businesses are the only ones who can exert influence here and as one colorfully dressed expert pointed out, that's not gonna happen anytime soon I haven't heard any big company came out– come out yet and say, "We're not gonna use Equifax anymore" -for their credit scores

-STUART VARNEY: Good point So far, everybody's been quiet, and I don't know what they're waiting to hear This is outrageous, they should be done but I bet you, because it's America, they'll be okay -(AUDIENCE LAUGHING) -Here's the truth, that angry business casual farm animal on Fox Business -is talking sense -(AUDIENCE LAUGHING) And that sentence alone shows just how bad things are

So, in the long term, there should clearly be major reform to this industry and how it's regulated, but that is going to take time, so until then you need to freeze your credit reports with all three of these companies, and only unfreeze them when you need to apply for credit And because the freeze option can be hard to find on their sites if you go to our twitter feed, we will give you exact links to do that, and when you do, they will give you a PIN number that you need to unfreeze it So, do not lose that number, or at the very least, make it something memorable I don't know, like -457-55-5462 -(AUDIENCE LAUGHING) -(AUDIENCE APPLAUDING) -But not that, 'cause of course that's Todd Davis's social security number

Source: Youtube


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