Credit-reporting company Equifax announced Thursday that it had suffered a â€œcybersecurity incidentâ€� that could impact as many as 143 million US consumers. Criminal hackers apparently accessed names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and, in some instances, driverâ€™s licenses.
The hackers also accessed credit card numbers for more than 200,000 people and â€œdocuments with personal identifying informationâ€� for about 182,000 people.
According to Equifax, criminals exploited a â€œwebsite application vulnerabilityâ€� to gain access to files. The company said that the unauthorized access continued from mid-May through July.
â€œThe company has found no evidence of unauthorized activity on Equifax’s core consumer or commercial credit reporting databases,â€� Equifax said in a news release.
â€œThis 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,â€� Equifax Chairman and CEO Richard F. Smith said. â€œWe 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.â€�
The company has established a website, www.equifaxsecurity2017.com, to help consumers determine if their information has been impacted and to sign up for credit-file monitoring and identity-theft protection.
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