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Equifax Reports Data Breach That Could Impact 143 Million Americans

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Credit reporting giant Equifax Inc. has reported a hacking incident in which the personal information of approximately 143 million U.S. consumers were potentially compromised.

The hackers exploited a U.S. website application vulnerability to gain access to certain files, which included names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, mailing addresses, and driver's license numbers, Equifax said in a statement Thursday.

Also, credit card numbers for approximately 209,000 U.S. consumers, and certain dispute documents with personal identifying information of 182,000 U.S. consumers, were accessed.

Equifax says that the data breach, one of the largest in history, occurred from mid-May through July 2017.

As part of its investigation, Equifax also identified unauthorized access to limited personal information of certain British and Canadian residents. The company said it discovered the unauthorized access on July 29 and acted immediately to stop the intrusion.

Equifax Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Richard F. Smith said the company is conducting a thorough review of its overall security operations, and is focused on consumer protection and have developed a comprehensive portfolio of services to support all U.S. consumer

A dedicated website, www.equifaxsecurity2017.com, has been established to help consumers determine if their information has been potentially impacted and to sign up for credit file monitoring and identity theft protection.

Equifax said it has engaged a leading, independent cybersecurity firm to conduct an assessment and provide recommendations on steps that can be taken to help prevent this type of incident from happening again.

by RTT Staff Writer

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