Here comes report of another security breach the implications of which could be far greater than anything the US has ever seen before. Those affected by the Equifax hack is no less than 143 million, which is almost one-half of the entire population.
What is also particularly damaging is that the hackers have decamped with such sensitive info as social security numbers, birth dates and also driving license numbers for some, besides of course the names and addresses.
That is not all as credit card numbers of around 209,000 US residents have also been stolen, as has been the personal identifying information of about 182,000 American who are involved in some sort of disputes with their credit cards. Among the affected include those in the UK and Canada as well.
Equifax acts to provide credit scores to individuals in the US based on such facts as credit card payments, lending history or their purchasing habits. In fact, Equifax can well be considered the store house of all matters related to the money of all US citizens.
What is also interesting is that many might not even be aware Equifax keep track of whether you are paying your rents or loan installments on time or every other money matters pertaining to your job. It happens to be one of three such credit reporting companies operating in the US.
The company though does not have any direct dealing with the people. Rather they base their estimation on information sourced from credit card companies, banks, lender and such. Equifax, however, said they are sending out alerts to those affected.
The data breach was discovered only on July 29 even though the hack is believed to have occurred since mid-May. Equifax said they have already taken steps to prevent further data leakage and is actively cooperating with the FBI to identify the culprits.
Meanwhile, Equifax is encouraging people to see if they have been affected. They can do so by typing their last names and the last sis digits of their SSN. A separate website phone service is also set up to attend to queries of the affected people.