Half of U.S. population’s data exposed in huge Equifax data breach

Bradley Wint
Sep 8, 2017 12:39am AST
Photo: Petr Kratochvil/Public Domain Pictures

Equifax, a US-based credit reporting agency, has confirmed that sensitive consumer data belonging to over 143 million customers was compromised earlier this year.

According to the official press release, hackers were able to exploit one of their website applications, allowing them access to certain files including “names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver’s license numbers” of customers within the United States.

Credit card numbers belong to about 209,000 US consumers and dispute documents related to another 182,000 US consumers were also accessed in the hack which took place between May and July of this year.

A number of Canadian and UK consumer records were also accessed during the breach.

According to them, their core reporting applications were not breached, which means you should not have to worry too much about your credit score being illegally modified.

Equifax discovered the unauthorized access on July 29 of this year and acted immediately to stop the intrusion. The company promptly engaged a leading, independent cybersecurity firm that has been conducting a comprehensive forensic review to determine the scope of the intrusion, including the specific data impacted. Equifax also reported the criminal access to law enforcement and continues to work with authorities. While the company’s investigation is substantially complete, it remains ongoing and is expected to be completed in the coming weeks.

Get your daily tech burst in your inbox!

With the numbers accounting for just about one in every two US citizens, the likelihood of identity theft is now much greater as a result of critical details such as Social Security and credit card numbers being leaked.

Equifax launched a dedicated website at www.equifaxsecurity2017.com to outline steps that should be taken to confirm whether your data was indeed compromised, and what to do if your information is out in the open.

The credit company also stated that a top security team was hired to discover how such an intrusion took place, and what needs to be done to prevent it in the future.

At this point however, it may be too late for the company to rebuild client trust given the severity of the leak.

Stay in the know

Subscribe to the Try Modern Tech Daily Digest for the latest tech news stories, deals, and how-to's in your inbox!

Founder/Executive Editor
PGP Fingerprint: EF2C 9B80 085C C837 3DA3 995D A864 F801 147F E619 | PGP Key
More From Technology

You can pre-order your gold-plated iPhone X starting at $7,495, with the top model costing $70k

By - Sep 11, 2017 11:06pm AST
With the iPhone X and 8 set to be announced on the 12th, iPhone accessory manufacturers are already busy at work putting the final touches on their cases and other… Continue Reading

YouTube-MP3.org closes under legal pressure

By - Sep 6, 2017 11:42pm AST
Popular stream ripping site YouTube-MP3.org, will finally close its doors after being slammed with a legal complaints by 15 of the top global record labels. The site which allows you… Continue Reading

The next iPhone to be announced September 12th; starting at $999

By - Aug 29, 2017 6:08pm AST
Multiple sources, including the Wall Street Journal are confirming that Apple will announce its next iPhone lineup on September 12th. By line up, we mean three new iPhone models; the… Continue Reading