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Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger

Representing the 2nd District of Maryland

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Congressman Ruppersberger Issues Statement on Equifax Cybersecurity Breach

Sep 8, 2017
Press Release

Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD), former ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, issued the following statement in response to a May data breach at Equifax, a popular credit monitoring company, which was discovered by the company in July and disclosed to the public Thursday. The breach has reportedly exposed the Social Security numbers, among other personal information of 143 million Americans – 60% of U.S. adults.

“While I am not surprised that Equifax was a target for cybercriminals, I do not understand why it took the company 40 days to alert their customers of a breach that has compromised over 140 million records containing personal information of Americans,” Ruppersberger said. Some Members of Congress have questioned whether this breach will be the catalyst for data breach notification legislation, currently there is no federal requirement. “I will be closely monitoring the development of the government’s response to this breach to ensure we are prioritizing consumer privacy and protecting Americans from identity theft and further compromise.”

“Cybersecurity needs to be a priority for every business, large or small.” A recent study by the SANS Institute found that in the last year 78% of organizations had experienced cyber-attacks and 12% of those attacks resulted in a significant breach. “The cyber threat is only accelerating as more and more criminal organizations and nation-states acquire sophisticated hardware, software and talent to carry out these attacks. As an appropriator, I continue to prioritize spending on cybersecurity resources by the federal government. We need to be a lot more aggressive in protecting our citizens from cyberattacks.”