143 Million Potential Victims Of Huge Data Breach Of Credit Monitoring Equifax

DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – Credit monitoring company Equifax says a breach exposed social security numbers and other data from about 143 million Americans.

The Atlanta-based company said Thursday that “criminals” exploited a U.S. website application to access files between mid-May and July of this year. The company which supplies credit information and other services discovered the breach on July 29.

It said consumers’ names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some cases, driver’s license numbers were exposed. Credit card numbers for about 209,000 U.S. consumers were also accessed.

“If it seems this stuff is happening almost every day, well it is, the FBI says there are 4,000 incidents of some type of hacking every day against businesses and individuals,” says WWJ’s Business Editor Murray Feldman. “Many small businesses go out of business after some of the attacks because they were unprepared.”

The company said hackers also accessed some “limited personal information” from British and Canadian residents.

Equifax said it doesn’t believe that any consumers from other countries were affected.

It was later reported that three Equifax executives sold a combined $1.8 million in stock to insulate themselves from news that the credit monitoring company had been hacked.

 

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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