#Fail: Equifax Made Work & Salary Histories Available To Anyone With Your SSN and DOB

The dumpster fire that is Equifax flared up again with news that Equifax had a site that allowed one to get salary and work histories with as little as a Social Security Number and a date of birth. Details via Brian Krebs:

In May, KrebsOnSecurity broke a story about lax security at a payroll division of big-three credit bureau Equifax that let identity thieves access personal and financial data on an unknown number of Americans. Incredibly, this same division makes it simple to access detailed salary and employment history on a large portion of Americans using little more than someone’s Social Security number and date of birth — both data elements that were stolen in the recent breach at Equifax.

At issue is a service provided by Equifax’s TALX division called The Work Number. The service is designed to provide automated employment and income verification for prospective employers, and tens of thousands of companies report employee salary data to it. The Work Number also allows anyone whose employer uses the service to provide proof of their income when purchasing a home or applying for a loan.

The homepage for this Equifax service wants to assure visitors that “Your personal information is protected.”

“With your consent your personal data can be retrieved only by credentialed verifiers,” Equifax assures us, referring mainly to banks and other entities that request salary data for purposes of setting credit limits.

Sadly, this isn’t anywhere near true because most employers who contribute data to The Work Number — including Fortune 100 firms, government agencies and universities — rely on horribly weak authentication for access to the information.

This is another reason why there needs to not only severe punishment for this stupidity, but there have to be strict regulations to ensure that this stupidity doesn’t happen. We’re seeing what can happen in the absence of both and this isn’t a nice place to be.

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