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Why the United States was wide open to a disaster like Equifax

September 21, 2017


More than sloppy cybersecurity measures, the massive data breach uncovered at Equifax revealed inherent flaws in the U.S.: the over-reliance on Social Security numbers credit reporting system in need of reform.

The Social Security number is a “chief means” of identifying and gathering information about an individual, according to website of the Social Security Administration. Among others, it is used in the opening of a bank account, application for loans and filing of tax returns.

The wide usage in both government and private sectors, and the ease of using it to access highly-sensitive accounts, has made hacking systems such as credit reporting agencies more appealing, experts told CNBC.

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