Already in the midst of the worst year ever for a credit-reporting agency, Equifax said Thursday that it was the victim of another cyberattack, this time involving a fake Flash downloader that greeted some people on its website.
The company, which gathers data on consumers for credit inquiries, has blamed a combination of human and technical error for the massive breach - not the largest on record but potentially the most damaging because of the sensitive financial information on consumers it holds in its databases.
The firm said it took down the link for credit report assistance temporarily "out of an abundance of caution".
Independent security analyst Randy Abrams claims that the company's website was compromised for several hours on October 11 and was redirecting customers to a fake Adobe Flash update download.
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Once clicked, the phony Flash reportedly downloads adware onto the user's computer that fills their internet browser with ads.
Equifax's security protocols have been under scrutiny since September 7 when the company disclosed its systems had been breached between mid-May and late July.
Richard Smith, the company's former chief executive stepped down.
Equifax and the Internal Revenue Service also are facing pressure from lawmakers over a $7.2 million contract that Equifax was awarded, after the breach was made public, for the company to verify taxpayer identities and help prevent fraud.