Damages from the Equifax data breach could destroy the company, says technology lawyer Mark Grossman. Fred Katayama reports.
Equifax in hot water since it disclosed that personal information of 143 million Americans was stolen from its database. Massachussets sued the credit reporting company Tuesday, and Equifax said its data breach might affect about 100,000 Canadians. Federal authorities have opened a criminal investigation into the breach. Nearly forty states have joined a probe. Bloomberg reported the feds are also looking into stock sales by Equifax executives. Congress has gotten involved too. Equifax' chief executive, Richard Smith, will testify on Capitol Hill on October 3rd. Technology lawyer Mark Grossman says Equifax will most likely file for bankruptcy. (SOUNDBITE) MARK GROSSMAN, TECHNOLOGY LAWYER, NEGOTIATOR, PUBLIC SPEAKER (ENGLISH) SAYING: "From the financial perspective of Equifax, this is an unmitigated disaster. As things unfold, it only gets worse. Right now, as of now, we're looking at about $6 billion in estimated loss of market cap. We're looking at damages in excess of $20 billion when the lawsuits begin to fly, when the fines begin to fly, and that $20 billion dollar number comes from the Gartner Group and is based on the IBM methodology. We're looking at horrific numbers." Separately, on Monday, Bloomberg reported there was a second cyber attack in March. But Equifax issued a statement saying it was an unrelated hack into its payroll, and said it reported the breach to regulators, and consumers, and added it was covered by the press.