143 million Americans affected by security breach at Equifax
ATLANTA - Credit reporting agency Equifax announced that a security breach exposed the personal information of approximately 143 million Americans, including social security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some cases, driver's license numbers.
The breach occurred from mid-May through July 29, 2017, when Equifax discovered the unauthorized access to its database.
Additionally, nearly 209,000 U.S. consumers had credit card information exposed, and personal identifying information for another 182,000 consumers was released.
“This 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,” said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Richard F. Smith.
In response to the breach, Equifax created a dedicated website so people can check whether their personal information has been affected, and it is now offering free credit monitoring for the next year.
For those who had credit card numbers exposed, Equifax will send notices in the mail.
“We 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,” Smith said.
To find out if your information has been accessed, or to enroll in credit monitoring, visit Equifax's dedicated enrollment website.