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Published On: Fri, Sep 8th, 2017

Shocking Equifax breach could impact over 140 million consumers

About 143 million U.S. customers of credit report giant Equifax may have had information compromised in a cyber security breach, the company has disclosed.

Equifax said cyber-criminals accessed data such as Social Security numbers, birth dates and addresses during the incident. The hackers accessed credit card numbers for about 209,000 consumers, among other information.

photo/ Gerd Altmann via pixabay

This attack actually occurred between mid-May and the end of July, when the company discovered the breach.

This is the statement on Twitter: “We recently discovered a cybersecurity incident involving consumer information. Once discovered, we acted immediately to stop the intrusion.  We apologize to our consumers and business customers for the concern and frustration this causes. Learn more: .”

Some UK and Canadian customers were also affected.

The firm’s core consumer and commercial credit databases were not accessed.

“This is about as bad as it gets,” said Pamela Dixon, executive director of the World Privacy Forum, a nonprofit research group. “If you have a credit report, chances are you may be in this breach. The chances are much better than 50 percent.”

Other cyberattacks, such as the two breaches that Yahoo announced in 2016, have eclipsed the penetration at Equifax in sheer size, but the Equifax attack is worse in terms of severity. Thieves were able to siphon far more personal information — the keys that unlock consumers’ medical histories, bank accounts and employee accounts.

“On a scale of 1 to 10 in terms of risk to consumers, this is a 10,” said Avivah Litan, a fraud analyst at Gartner.

An F.B.I. spokesperson said the agency was aware of the breach and was tracking the situation.

Cybersecurity professionals criticized Equifax on Thursday for not improving its security practices after those previous thefts, and they noted that thieves were able to get the company’s crown jewels through a simple website vulnerability.

“Equifax should have multiple layers of controls” so if hackers manage to break in, they can at least be stopped before they do too much damage, Litan said.

Equifax is centered in Atlanta, Georgia.

About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professional in 2008 on sites like Examiner and blogs: Desk of Brian, Crazed Fanboy. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) will be a licensed Assembly of God Pastor by the Spring of 2017. "Why do we do this?" I was asked and the answer is simple. "I just want the truth. I want a source of information that tells me what's going and clearly attempts to separate opinion from fact. Set aside left and right, old and young, just point to the world and say, 'Look!'" To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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