A class action lawsuit has been filed against big-three consumer credit bureau Experian over reports that the company did little to prevent identity thieves from hijacking consumer accounts. The legal filing cites liberally from an investigation KrebsOnSecurity published in July, which found that identity thieves were able to assume control over existing Experian accounts simply by signing up for new accounts using the victim’s personal information and a different email address.
The lawsuit, filed July 28, 2022 in California Central District Court, argues that Experian’s documented practice of allowing the re-registration of existing Experian accounts without first verifying that the existing account holder authorized the changes violates the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
In July’s Experian, You Have Some Explaining to Do, we heard from two different readers who had security freezes on their credit files with Experian and who also recently received notifications from Experian that the email address on their account had been changed. So had their passwords and account PIN and secret questions. Both had used password managers to pick and store complex, unique passwords for their accounts.
Both were able to recover access to their Experian account simply by recreating it — sharing their name, address, phone number, social security number, date of birth, and successfully gleaning or guessing the answers to four multiple choice questions that are almost entirely based on public records (or else information that is not terribly difficult to find).
Here’s the bit from that story that got excerpted in the class action lawsuit:
KrebsOnSecurity sought to replicate Turner and Rishi’s experience — to see if Experian would allow me to re-create my account using my personal information but a differen ..
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