A recent cybersecurity breach of international credit reporting agency Equifax has exposed the personal information of 143 million U.S. consumers.
A statement was released by on Thursday by Equifax:
Criminals exploited a U.S. website application vulnerability to gain access to certain files. Based on the company’s investigation, the unauthorized access occurred from mid-May through July 2017. The company 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. As part of its investigation of this application vulnerability, Equifax also identified unauthorized access to limited personal information for certain UK and Canadian residents. Equifax will work with UK and Canadian regulators to determine appropriate next steps. The company has found no evidence that personal information of consumers in any other country has been impacted.
The total number of American’s affected constitutes about 44 percent of the U.S. population. It is not known why once the hack was discovered Equifax allowed two months to pass before coming forward with a statement. However, the agency has noted it, “has found no evidence of unauthorized activity on Equifax’s core consumer or commercial credit reporting databases.”
Rich Smith, Chairman of Equifax made the following statement:
“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,” said Chairman and CEO Richard F. Smith said in a statement.
Equifax handles the data of more than 820 million people and more than 91 million businesses worldwide. The company has been working with law enforcement and has set up a website for consumers to determine where they have been affected by the breach. It has also set up a call center for the same purpose at 866-447-7559.
Sources: Equifax, YouTube