Another colossal security breach has hit a U.S. company leaving the data of hundreds of millions of Americans exposed.
Consumer credit reporting agency Equifax has announced a massive security breach in which hackers gained access to sensitive client information including Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, even some driver’s license numbers.
With 143 million people affected, it is one of the biggest breaches to date in the U.S. It is also the third cyber-security incident to hit the company in the past two years. This particular attack occurred from mid-May through July of this year and is under investigation by the authorities.
Although the majority of the victims are American, Equifax said hackers may have accessed some “limited personal information” about Canadian and U.K. citizens as well.
Gartner security analyst Avivah Litan told the New York Times that “on a scale of 1 to 10 in terms of risk to consumers, this is a 10.”
That is because the checking of Social Security numbers is the most often-used way to verify a person’s identity in the U.S.
“This is clearly a disappointing event and one that strikes at the heart of who we are and what we do,” Equifax CEO Richard F. Smith said in video. “I deeply regret this incident and I apologize to every affected consumer and all of our partners.”
He added that the investigation found “no evidence of unauthorized activity on our core credit reporting databases.”
To discover if your data was compromised, Equifax recommends following the steps listed below:
- Click on “Check Potential Impact,” and provide your last name and the last six digits of your Social Security number.
- Based on that information, you will receive a message indicating whether your personal information may have been impacted by this incident.
- Regardless of whether your information may have been impacted, we will provide you the option to enroll in TrustedID Premier. You will receive an enrollment date. You should return to this site and follow the “How do I enroll?” instructions below on or after that date to continue the enrollment and activation process. The enrollment period ends on Nov. 21.
Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.
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