Consumer credit reporting agency giant Equifax has disclosed that on July 29th of this year it suffered a colossal data breach in its systems that may affect as many as 143 million consumers in the United States – nearly half the adult population in America.
A vast array of news sources are covering the story, including NBC, Reuters, CNN, and Business Insider. CNBC reported that Equifax acknowledged the theft, stating “Criminals exploited a U.S. website application vulnerability to gain access to certain files.” The exposed data includes names, birth dates, Social Security numbers, addresses, and some driver’s license numbers – precisely the kind of primary personal financial information Equifax is supposed to keep completely secure for its customers. The information of 209,000 U.S. credit card numbers was obtained, as well as 182,000 credit report dispute documents that included “personal identifying information.”
Equifax indicates the colossal hack occurred between mid-May and July. As one of three nationwide credit-reporting companies that track U.S. consumers’ financial history, Equifax a holds an almost incomprehensibly large amount of personal private financial data. “Unlike other data breaches, not all of the people affected by the Equifax data breach may be aware that they’re customers of the company. Equifax gets its data from credit card companies, banks, retailers, and lenders who report on the credit activity of individuals to credit reporting agencies, as well as by purchasing public records,” noted CNN.
Equifax says it created a website where consumers can check to see if they have been impacted by the data breach, but early reports indicate the site does not actually provide that information. Equifax also claims it has been mailing notices out to people whose credit cards or dispute documents were compromised.
“This is reason Number 10,000 to check your online bank statements and credit card statements on a regular basis, ideally weekly,” stated Matt Schulz, senior industry analyst at CreditCards.com, to CNN. “Bad guys can be very patient, so it’s important to keep an eye out long after this story fades from the headlines.”
Contact a National Digital Privacy & Data Protection Lawyer
Lieff Cabraser is investigating widespread consumer complaints that Equifax may have failed to adequately safeguard and secure the social security numbers and other personal information of millions of consumers.
If you are concerned that your information may have been compromised in the Equifax data breach, or you have experienced identity theft or other action you think may be related to Equifax’s data breach, we urge you to contact a national digital privacy and data protection lawyer today to submit your complaint. Lieff Cabraser is a nationally-renowned consumer protection law firm, and there is no charge or obligation for our review of your case.
We will protect your name and all confidential information you submit against disclosure, publication or unauthorized use to the full extent under the law. The information you provide will help us hold Equifax accountable for any failures in its duty to protect your confidential personal financial data.