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Equifax Data Breach

Equifax Says Cyberattack May Have Affected 143 Million Customers
Source: NYTimes.com By TARA SIEGEL BERNARD, TIFFANY HSU, NICOLE PERLROTH & RON LIEBER 09/07/17

Equifax, one of the three major consumer credit reporting agencies, said on Thursday that hackers had gained access to company data that potentially compromised sensitive information for 143 million American consumers, including Social Security numbers and driver’s license numbers.

The attack on the company represents one of the largest risks to personally sensitive information in recent years, and is the third major cybersecurity threat for the agency since 2015.

Criminals gained access to certain files in the company’s system from mid-May to July by exploiting a weak point in website software, according to an investigation by Equifax and security consultants. The company said that it discovered the intrusion on July 29 and has since found no evidence of unauthorized activity on its main consumer or commercial credit reporting databases.

Equifax said that, in addition to reporting the breach to law enforcement, it had hired a cybersecurity firm to conduct a review to determine the scale of the invasion. The investigation is expected to wrap up in the next few weeks.

Equifax has created a website, www.equifaxsecurity2017.com, to help consumers determine whether their data was at risk. The company also suggests getting a free copy of your credit report from the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. These are available at annualcreditreport.com. It also suggests contacting a law enforcement agency if you believe any stolen information has already been used in some way.

Equifax’s credit protection service, which is free for one year for consumers who enroll by Nov. 21, is available to everyone and not just the victims of the breach.

Equifax is offering consumers the ability to freeze their Equifax credit reports, said John Ulzheimer, a consumer credit expert who often does expert witness work for banks and credit unions and worked at Equifax in the 1990s. Thieves could have information stolen from Equifax and used it to open accounts with creditors that use Experian or TransUnion.

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While WyHy had no part in this breach and we only pull credit data from TransUnion and Experian, we do report to all three national credit bureau agencies as most all financial institutions do. We encourage our members to look into their individual situations as we will continue to stay informed and share any details relevant to our members.