Experian share price: US states launch joint investigation into security breach
iNVEZZ.com Thursday, April 10: North Carolina and Iowa have joined Connecticut and Illinois in a joint investigation of a possible breach, involving a subsidiary of Experian (LON:EXPN), that exposed some 200 million American Social Security numbers to criminals. As of 14.40 BST, Experian’s shares were trading marginally higher at 1,082.00p.
The probe will examine whether the involved companies took adequate steps to protect private financial data, whether they quickly notified victims and what they were doing to help prevent harm to their clients’ financial well-being. “Consumer protection laws generally provide the basis for our investigations,” Bill Brauch, director of the consumer protection division of the Iowa attorney general’s office, told Reuters.
Last month, Hieu Minh Ngo, a Vietnamese man, pleaded guilty to running an underground website that offered personal data of US citizens. He obtained the data through Court Ventures, a firm that was acquired by Experian in March 2012. The same firm also has a data-share agreement with US Info Search to provide access to a database of social security numbers. Experian had said earlier that Ngo accessed the data through US Info Search and prior to the Court Ventures acquisition. “U.S. Info Search is the company that owns the database, and only it has the ability to know what data was returned in response to Ngo’s inquiries,” Experian spokeswoman Susan Henson commented. Meanwhile, US Info Search chief executive Marc Martin told Reuters that “it was Experian that sold the data and collected the funds”.
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Separately, a US Senator Claire McCaskill said she was concerned Experian had changed its explanation of how it was managing the breach. The Democrat from Missouri told Reuters that she was troubled the company had said it wouldn’t be able to notify people whose social security numbers were compromised.
Analysts on Experian
BNP Paribas reaffirmed its ‘outperform’ rating on Experian shares in a note sent to investors today. It gave the stock a price target of 1,330.00p.
One equity analyst rates Experian as a ‘sell’, four give it a ‘hold’ rating and 12 are calling it a ‘buy’. The shares have a consensus ‘buy’ rating and an average price target of 1,256.20p.
As of 15.00 BST buy Experian shares at 1,082.10p.
As of 15.00 BST sell Experian shares at 1,081.90p.