Equifax, one of the three major US consumer credit reporting agencies is the last victim of a data breach that may have affected upwards to 143 million Americans.
According to a statement published by the Equifax, crooks exploited an unnamed U.S. website application vulnerability from mid-May to July to access sensitive data in its systems.
“Equifax Inc. (NYSE: EFX) today announced a cybersecurity incident potentially impacting approximately 143 million U.S. consumers. Criminals exploited a U.S. website application vulnerability to gain access to certain files. Based on the company’s investigation, the unauthorized access occurred from mid-May through July 2017. The company has found no evidence of unauthorized activity on Equifax’s core consumer or commercial credit reporting databases.” reads the statement.
Equifax waited 6 weeks before informing the affected customers about the massive security breach, while it confirmed to have identified unauthorized access to “limited personal information for certain UK and Canadian residents.”
Equifax discovered the intrusion on July 29, this means that attackers had access to the company’s systems for nearly 3 months.
Hackers managed to access sensitive information for 143 million Americans, including Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and some driver’s license numbers.
Attackers also accessed credit card numbers for about 209,000 citizens and some personal information for Canadian and British residents.
“The information accessed primarily includes names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver’s license numbers. In addition, credit card numbers for approximately 209,000 U.S. consumers, and certain dispute documents with personal identifying information for approximately 182,000 U.S. consumers, were accessed.” continues the company.
The company has set up the website www.equifaxsecurity2017.com for customers to check if their data was compromised.
Equifax is asking affected customers to sign up for credit-monitoring and identity theft protection services, it is ironic because these are the same services the company offers to its customers.
Equifax announces an investigation on the data breach is ongoing.
Pierluigi Paganini is member of the ENISA (European Union Agency for Network and Information Security) Threat Landscape Stakeholder Group and Cyber G7 Group, he is also a Security Evangelist, Security Analyst and Freelance Writer.
Editor-in-Chief at "Cyber Defense Magazine", Pierluigi is a cyber security expert with over 20 years experience in the field, he is Certified Ethical Hacker at EC Council in London. The passion for writing and a strong belief that security is founded on sharing and awareness led Pierluigi to find the security blog "Security Affairs" recently named a Top National Security Resource for US.
Pierluigi is a member of the "The Hacker News" team and he is a writer for some major publications in the field such as Cyber War Zone, ICTTF, Infosec Island, Infosec Institute, The Hacker News Magazine and for many other Security magazines.
Author of the Books "The Deep Dark Web" and “Digital Virtual Currency and Bitcoin”.