Customers at Equifax, one of the largest US-based consumer credit reporting agencies, are threatened by a data breach which has impacted 143 million accounts and personal as well as financial information was leaked.
Equifax discovered the data breach on July 29 and tried to minimize the damage by hiring private cybersecurity experts and are currently working with law enforcement to investigate and identify the hackers.
Although US consumers majorly faced the brunt of the data breach, Equifax has mentioned that ‘limited personal information’ of UK and Canadian residents were also accessed during the breach.
“I apologize to consumers and our business customers for the concern and frustration this causes,” said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Richard F. 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.”
What Was the Magnitude of the Breach?
The hacked information included names, social security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and driver’s license. In addition to that, 209,000 credit card numbers and 182,000 dispute documents containing personal identifying information of US consumers were also leaked.
The company confirmed that customer data of no other country that they operate in has been impacted in the data breach.
Equifax has setup a dedicated website for this incident — equifaxsecurity2017.com — which can be helped to determine whether your account has been hacked or not.
The website also provides additional information to customers about what steps can be taken to protect their personal information.
“Confronting cybersecurity risks is a daily fight. While we’ve made significant investments in data security, we recognize we must do more. And we will,” Smith concluded.