The credit reporting agency announced that the breach, which leaked their customer’s names, Social Security numbers, and home addresses, affected more than 140 million customers. It was noted that driver license numbers were revealed with their original announcement, but it is now believed that license states and issue dates were also compromised.
Equifax’s spokesperson, Meredith Griffanti, claims that exposing all of the compromised information was never a plan for the company. However, this new revelation leaves many wondering how much information hackers may have obtained from the malicious cyber attack.
Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren wrote a letter to the company’s CEO, Paulino do Rego Barros Jr, expressing her concerns about incomplete information being sent to the United States Congress.
“As your company continues to issue incomplete, confusing and contradictory statements and hide information from Congress and the public, it is clear that five months after the breach was publicly announced, Equifax has yet to answer this simple question in full: what was the precise extent of the breach?” Warren wrote.
Equifax claims that the collected information was not unusual for hackers, who usually search for personal information to open credit cards and bank accounts at the expense of unassuming victims.
“The more information scammers have about you, the easier it is for them to impersonate you,” National Consumer Law Center Director Lauren Saunders said. “And the easier it is for them to get by the protocols that banks and others use to make sure they are dealing with the right individual.”
Hackers were able retained unauthorized access to Equifax from May to June of last year. The hackers were able to breach the company’s system after discovering a vulnerability that gave them access to personal information.
Equifax, who is one of the country’s credit bureaus alongside Transunion and Experian, has lost the trust of millions of consumers. Individuals around the country allowed the company to gather personal information in exchange for credit reports. The reports are created after the company collects information, from multiple sources like banks, credit card companies, and public records, to determine the trustworthiness of loan borrowers.
Officials on federal and state levels are investigating the credit bureau for its security practices, customer service behavior and suspected insider trading within the company. Equifax hoped to quell outrage by offering credit freezes. However, the company ignited more outrage when its credit freeze system did not work. The credit reporting service has fixed the problem and announced plans to extend the freezes through June 30. Apparently, freezing credit helps to prevent the creation of new accounts, but freezes will have to be lifted if consumers need home loans, credit cards or new bank accounts.
If you have concerns or would like to know if you were affected by the breach, feel free to check with Equifax Security.