Nearly half of the United States has been impacted by a massive cyber security incident at one of the three largest credit agencies in the country.
USA (Next Media) – Nearly half of the United States has been impacted by a massive cyber security incident at one of the three largest credit agencies in the country.
NBC reports that credit reporting agency Equifax has announced that it suffered a massive data breach which compromised the personal information of 143 million Americans.
Stolen data included names, social security numbers, addresses, and birthdays. Credit card numbers of 209,000 consumers were also taken, along with the dispute documents of 182,000 others.
These personal details may well be used to engage in fraud and identity theft schemes, which Equifax was ironically in the business of protecting people from.
Hackers reportedly accessed the data in mid-May through a web vulnerability, and maintained access until July 29.
The data breach extends beyond the U.S., with Equifax saying data from people in Canada and the UK may have also been exposed.
Likewise, people who aren’t customers of Equifax may also be affected, since the firm obtains information from credit card companies, banks, and other sources to determine a person’s credit score.
The company is currently cooperating with the FBI, which is investigating the incident. They’re also working with an independent security firm for extra protection.