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Although some readers may take issue with my pointing these out — reasoning that I’m only making it easier for bad people to do bad things — it’s important to understand that knowledge is half the battle: Planting your flag before someone else does is usually the only way to keep others from abusing such services to expose your personal information. A notice on the site says the company took the portal down a few hours after my story was published yesterday, without the usual advance warning the company offers for scheduled maintenance.The notice reads: “Equifax Workforce Solutions is currently performing maintenance activities that will affect the following applications: The Work Number EDR” “We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but it is necessary to ensure that Equifax Workforce Solutions continues to provide you the industry-leading services you have come to expect.” Also, several readers pointed out that when they tried the service Sunday evening before Equifax took it down they were asked to answer knowledge-based authentication questions before being able to authenticate to the portal to view their salary history.I could see this service potentially helping to create a toxic workplace environment because it offers a relatively simple method for employees to glean data about the salaries of their co-workers and bosses.

After that, it asks for a “user ID.” This might sound like privileged information, but in most cases this is just the employees’s Social Security number (or a portion of it).

In May, Krebs On Security broke a story about lax security at a payroll division of big-three credit bureau Equifax that let identity thieves access personal and financial data on an unknown number of Americans.

Incredibly, this same division makes it simple to access detailed salary and employment history on a large portion of Americans using little more than someone’s Social Security number and date of birth — both data elements that were stolen in the recent breach at Equifax.

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