Equifax data breach may affect 143 Million people
September 7, 2017
• Claims there's been no evidence of unauthorized access to core consumer or commercial credit reporting databases
• “This is clearly a disappointing event”
One of the nation’s three major credit reporting firms – Equifax Inc. (NYSE: EFX) -- says it's been hacked and it could impact approximately 143 million U.S. consumers.
Criminals exploited a U.S. website application vulnerability to gain access to certain files, the company says Thursday.
Based on its investigation, hackers pawed around inside Equifax's databases from mid-May through July.
The company says it has found no evidence of unauthorized activity on Equifax’s core consumer or commercial credit reporting databases.
The information accessed primarily includes names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver’s license numbers.
In addition, credit card numbers for approximately 209,000 U.S. consumers, and certain dispute documents with personal identifying information for approximately 182,000 U.S. consumers, were accessed, the company says.
As part of its investigation of this application vulnerability, Equifax also identified unauthorized access to limited personal information for certain United Kingdom and Canadian residents. Equifax says it has found no evidence that personal information of consumers in any other country has been impacted.
“This is clearly a disappointing event for our company, and one that strikes at the heart of who we are and what we do. I apologize to consumers and our business customers for the concern and frustration this causes,” says Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Richard Smith. “We pride ourselves on being a leader in managing and protecting data, and we are conducting a thorough review of our overall security operations. We also are focused on consumer protection and have developed a comprehensive portfolio of services to support all U.S. consumers, regardless of whether they were impacted by this incident.”
Equifax has established a dedicated website, www.equifaxsecurity2017.com, to help consumers determine if their information has been potentially impacted and to sign up for credit file monitoring and identity theft protection. The offering, called TrustedID Premier, includes credit monitoring of Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit reports; copies of Equifax credit reports; the ability to lock and unlock Equifax credit reports; identity theft insurance; and Internet scanning for Social Security numbers – all complimentary to U.S. consumers for one year.