Equifax hack exposed information beyond our thought

Equifax hack exposed information beyond our thought

The Equifax data breach has exposed more of consumers’ personal information than the company first disclosed in 2017, according to the documents given to lawmakers.

The credit-reporting company announced back in September 2017, that the personal information of 145.5 million of the consumers had been compromised in a data breach. The credit-reporting company originally said that the information accessed did include names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and (in some cases) driver’s license numbers & credit card numbers. It also added to say that the personal information from thousands of dispute documents was accessed.

 Atlanta-based Equifax Inc. however, has recently disclosed in a document that is submitted to the Senate Banking Committee, which got shared with Associated Press, that a forensic investigation found the criminals accessed other information from the company records including tax identification numbers and email addresses alongside the phone numbers. Details, including the expiration dates for credit cards or issuing states for drivers’ licenses, were also included in this list.

The additional insight into massive breach was initially reported by the “Wall Street Journal“.

Equifax spokeswoman Meredith Griffanti says, “in no way did we intend to mislead consumers.”  She also said that the company previous year disclosed only the information affecting the greatest number of consumers and wanted to “act with the greatest clarity” in terms of the information  provided the committee.

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Meredith Griffanti also said that although the list provided to committee does includes all of the potential data points that may have been accessed by the criminals, those elements has affected a minimal portion of the consumers. And some data (such as passport numbers ) were not stolen by the criminals. The company reiterates that the total number of affected consumers is unchanged.

Griffanti goes on asking, when you’re making that kind of announcement, where you draw the line? In case you saw the list we provided the banking finance committee, was pretty exhaustive and we wanted to show them that no stone remain unturned.

But to the consumers whose information got exposed, it may feel just like another slap in the face.

Equifax has waited months to disclose the hack. After it could do, anxious consumers experienced jammed phone lines  & uninformed company representatives.

An Equifax website set up to help people be determined for their exposure was described as sketchy by security experts & provided inconsistent and unhelpful information to many people.

The company has blamed the online customer help page’s problems on a vendor’s software code after it appeared that it had been hacked.

Equifax has tried making changes, replacing its chief executive, and spending millions to research & rectify the breach. In January 2018, it could launch a service allowing consumers to lock &  unlock their credit report. But a test of the site by the “New York Times” found it unusable in several ways. The company said this experience was only an exception & it has made some key changes to the service since it was launched.

The company continues dealing with multiple regulatory investigations into the matter, and hundreds consumer lawsuits.

According to Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) it is “one of the largest and most significant data security lapses in history.”

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