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Wells Fargo fires 5,300 employees for illegal sales practices

Wells Fargo has been fined $185 million and fired more than 5000 employees after the discovery of an illegal sales push that duped customers for years. Also in recent GRC news, U.S. businesses with European clients are unprepared for the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Olympians’ medical records were leaked and the 2016 U.S presidential race continues to be targeted by hackers.

Wells Fargo sales tactics under fire

Wells Fargo has fired 5,300 employees after it was discovered that they were engaging in illegal sales tactics. Over the course of five years, the employees used fake email addresses to create around 2 million unauthorized accounts for existing customers, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Former Wells Fargo employees told the New York Times that the tactics were necessary to meet unattainable sales goals. “The reality was that people had to meet their goals — they needed a paycheck,” one former employee, Khalid Taha, told the Times. As a result of the incident, Wells Fargo has eliminated product sales goals for retail bankers in an effort to prevent this type of illicit activity from happening again.

Wells Fargo must also pay $185 million in fines to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). This is the largest fine ever collected by the CFPB, the Washington Post reported.

U.S. businesses not ready to meet EU data standards

Many U.S. businesses with European clients are unprepared for new regulations under the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), according to a survey conducted by software company Compuware.

Compuware surveyed 400 CIOs of large companies in the U.S. and Europe. The survey found that more than half of the U.S. companies that took part in the survey have personal information of European customers, but only a third of those companies are making the necessary preparations to comply with the GDPR, Information Management reported. U.S. companies must comply with the GDPR by May 2018.

Foreign hackers release Colin Powell’s emails

The latest political hacking target is former secretary of state Colin Powell, who had his emails revealed by hackers. The emails contain Powell speaking candidly about Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, according to the New York Times. In one email, Powell said he would, “rather not have to vote for” Clinton. In another, Powell called Trump a “national disgrace” and an “international pariah.”

The Washington Post reported that the emails were leaked on a site tied to the Russian government, continuing the trend of foreign countries’ tampering in the U.S. election process. In recent months, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) experienced an email leak that lead to the resignation of DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and two states’ voter registration databases were breached by Russian hackers.

Olympians’ medical records leaked

Hackers thought to be linked to the Russian government have released medical records and drug testing records of Olympic athletes, including gold medal gymnast Simone Biles and tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams. The hackers tapped into the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) database to obtain the information, ABC News reported. The hacker group calls themselves “Fancy Bear,” and released personal medical records of 25 athletes, according to a statement released by WADA.

In a statement released on their website, Fancy Bear detailed the motive behind the data leaks, alleging that U.S. athletes “regularly used illicit strong drugs justified by certificates of approval for therapeutic use.”