Equifax, a massive credit assessment company, announced Thursday that roughly 143 million U.S. consumers may have had some of their most sensitive personal information leaked due to a large scale data breach.
Cyber criminals infiltrated the corporation’s website application and leaked personal information like names, birth dates, addresses, social security numbers, and for some, drivers licenses and credit card numbers, according to the credit reporting firm. Equifax services include providing customers with credit information, among others. It says it detected the “unauthorized access” July 29, and responded as soon as possible to halt the infiltration.
“This is clearly a disappointing event for our company, and one that strikes at the heart of who we are and what we do. I apologize to consumers and our business customers for the concern and frustration this causes,” Chairman and CEO Richard F. Smith said in a press release. “We pride ourselves on being a leader in managing and protecting data, and we are conducting a thorough review of our overall security operations. We also are focused on consumer protection and have developed a comprehensive portfolio of services to support all U.S. consumers, regardless of whether they were impacted by this incident.” (RELATED: UK May Punish Companies For Getting Hacked)
Equifax set up a unique website to assist customers with finding out if their information was leaked or stolen, and what to do if such actions are confirmed. It also says it will personally mail hard copies of notices to certain customers who’s information was leaked. Equifax states that clients in the U.K. and Canada were also affected, so it’s working with the authorities in those respective countries, as well as the U.S., to “determine appropriate next steps.”
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