Irish regulators investigate Experian
Experian, the world’s largest credit-checking company, is being investigated by Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner in the wake of a series of breaches of the company's databases.
The agency has opened a preliminary inquiry into the security practices of Dublin-based Experian, said Gary Davis, the agency's deputy commissioner.
The move was prompted reports that Experian's database was invaded at least 80 times, leading to the theft of almost 15,500 credit reports since 2006, he said.
Hackers infiltrated Experian using passwords stolen from its customers, and invasions were not immediately detected.
Regulators have asked Experian whether breaches have affected Irish consumers or businesses, and requested information on what steps the company is taking to prevent unauthorised access to its databases and safeguard records from hackers, Mr Davis said.
Gerry Tschopp, a spokesman for Experian, declined to comment directly on the Irish inquiry.
The breaches were "isolated security issues experienced by a small number of our clients in North America involving US consumers under US data-protection jurisdiction," Mr Tschopp said in an emailed statement.
The US Federal Trade Commission as a policy will not confirm or deny investigations, said Laura Berger, a senior lawyer in the division of privacy and identity protection.