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Equifax Says Cyberattack May Have Hit 143 Million Customers

Equifax Inc. said its systems had been struck by a cyberattack that may have affected about 143 million U.S. customers of the credit reporting agency, shedding light on one of the greatest and most intrusive breaches ever.

Intruders accessed names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and motorist’s license numbers, Equifax said in a statement. Credit card numbers for approximately 209,000 customers were also accessed, the business said. Equifax shares dropped more than 8 percent in after-hours trading.

“That is obviously a disappointing event for our firm, and one which strikes at the center of who we are and what we do. I apologize to customers as well as our business customers for the frustration and frustration that this causes,” Chief Executive Officer Richard Smith said.

The business set up a web site,, that customers can use to ascertain if their information was compromised. It’s also offering identify-theft protection and complimentary tracking.

The incident is #x 2019 data being vulnerable online & a stark reminder of the risk of customers. It’s especially worrisome for the millions of people who trust services to handle and guard their information.

Read how three Equifax directors sold inventory before this hack was revealed

Criminals took advantage of a “U.S. site application vulnerability to gain access to specific files” from mid-May during July of this past year, Equifax explained. The intruders also accessed dispute files for approximately 182,000 consumers with personal identifying information.

“It’s a enormous deal,” explained Tim Crosby, senior adviser with security-assessment company Spohn, “You would expect these men to have compartmentalized this information far enough away from a Web server — which there might be no way to directly access it.”

Read more about cybersecurity hacks in this Bloomberg QuickTake

Equifax was struck by breaches in the past.  Experian Plc, Equifax and TransUnion, the three biggest U.S. credit-reporting companies, uncovered cases in 2013 where hackers obtained illegal, unauthorized access to user information. Credit reports, allegedly on famous people ranging from Michelle Obama to Paris Hilton, were published online because hack.

This is definitely the cybersecurity. This past year, Yahoo, whose net strengths were acquired by Verizon Communications Inc. earlier this year, revealed a 2014 breach that affected at least 500 million client accounts. A couple of months afterwards, the business said a 2013 hack scrambled account passwords, siphoned addresses and dates of arrival of as many as 1 billion consumers.

The Equifax breach vulnerable information, including Social Security and credit card numbers, which may be valuable to actors that were bad and potentially more damaging to customers.

Some U.K. and Canadian residents were also affected. The business is currently working with regulators in both nations. It uncovered the breach . While the organization&#x2019 investigation is substantially complete, it stays open and is anticipated to be completed in weeks, Equifax explained.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation didn’t immediately respond to emails and a phone message requesting comment about its potential participation in an investigation.  

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