Equifax data breach could impact 143 million US consumers

Pierluigi Paganini September 08, 2017

Equifax, one of the three major US consumer credit reporting agencies is the last victim of a data breach that may have affected upwards to 143 million Americans.

According to a statement published by the Equifax, crooks exploited an unnamed U.S. website application vulnerability from mid-May to July to access sensitive data in its systems.

“Equifax Inc. (NYSE: EFX) today announced a cybersecurity incident potentially impacting approximately 143 million U.S. consumers. 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.” reads the statement.

Equifax waited 6 weeks before informing the affected customers about the massive security breach, while it confirmed to have identified unauthorized access to “limited personal information for certain UK and Canadian residents.”

Equifax discovered the intrusion on July 29, this means that attackers had access to the company’s systems for nearly 3 months.

Hackers managed to access sensitive information for 143 million Americans, including Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and some driver’s license numbers.

Attackers also accessed credit card numbers for about 209,000 citizens and some personal information for Canadian and British residents.

“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.” continues the company.

Equifax data breach

The company has set up the website www.equifaxsecurity2017.com for customers to check if their data was compromised.
Equifax is asking affected customers to sign up for credit-monitoring and identity theft protection services, it is ironic because these are the same services the company offers to its customers.

Equifax announces an investigation on the data breach is ongoing.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – data breach, cybercrime)

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