Tuesday, April 9, 2019

The Equifax Hack Affects Millions

More personal information of customers than previously thought might have been exposed by the Equifax breach.

Some additional information which include tax IDs and driver’s license details may have been accessed in a hack that affected 145.5 million customers as was recorded by the confidential documents Equifax provided to the Senate Banking Committee seen by CNN.

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The disclosure of the Equifax hack follows Equifax (EFX)’s original announcement of the breach in September. This Equifax hack compromised sensitive data like names date of birth, Social Security numbers and home addresses. The company revealed in the original announcement of the Equifax hack that some driver’s license numbers were also exposed. The new documents show that the license state and issue date might have also been compromised.


Equifax hack spokesman in person of Meredith Griffanti told CNNMoney Friday that the original list of vulnerable personal information was never intended to represent the full list of potentiality exposed information. As a result of the Equifax hack, new documents raised questions of how much information hackers may be able to access in Equifax’s cyberattack.

Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren on Friday sent a letter to CEO Paulino do Rego Barros Jr. on the incomplete information provided to Congress following a story in The Wall Street Journal. "As your company continues to issue incomplete, confusing and contradictory statements and hide information from Congress and the public, it is clear that five months after the breach was publicly announced, Equifax has yet to answer this simple question in full: what was the precise extent of the breach?" Warren wrote in the letter.

In the response of Warren to lawmakers, he said the pieces of information Equifax compiled is not exhaustive but represents common personal information that hackers usually search for in the Equifax hack. Bank accounts and lines of credit like a credit card or mortgage can be opened by crimias without the knowledge of the victim.

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The more information scammers have about you, the easier it is for them to impersonate you," said Lauren Saunders, associate director at the National Consumer Law Center. "And the easier it is for them to get by the protocols that banks and others use to make sure they are dealing with the right individual.

The Equifax hack happened from May through July 2017. This period was when the hackers exploited a website application vulnerability to gain access to the files as said by the company. One of the three national credit bureaus along with TransUnion and Experian is Equifax. Information on the Equifax hack was gathered on individual to create credit reports which lenders use to determine the risk of a potential borrower.

The agencies gather the information to create the reports from a slew of different sources, including banks, credit card companies, retailers and public records. Federal agencies, state officials and members of Congress are currently probing Equifax over its data security practices, customer service response and the possibility of insider trading from executives. In the response of Equifax to the Equifax hack, they offered free credit freezes through June 30. New accounts will be prevented from being opened when you freeze your account.