Why the Equifax Breach Might Affect 44 Percent of Americans
Here's what people need to know about the data stolen in the Equifax breach, and how to learn if affected and eligible for free credit monitoring.
As much as 44 percent of the U.S. population will feel the impact of the recent data breach of the credit reporting agency Equifax for years to come, according to Wired. In the Equifax breach, which started sometime in May through a vulnerability in a Web-based application, the hackers got:
- Social Security numbers
- Birth dates
- Some driver's license numbers
- About 209,000 credit card numbers
Equifax discovered the data breach on July 29th, and announced yesterday that it affected as many as 143 million Americans.
The company has set up a website where consumers can check if the company believes they were "likely," or "not likely" affected, and then request to enroll in the company's free credit monitoring and theft insurance program, TrustedID Premier, for one year.
Mark Testoni, the president of SAP National Security Services, said the biggest risk for this data breach is fraudulent credit applications, and that there are other ways bad actors can take advantage of the type of personal data stolen.
Check for notifications to see if new credit applications have been filed on your behalf, and monitor your accounts for adverse action," he said.
In a separate report by the Chicago Tribune, three Equifax senior executives -- Chief Financial Officer John Gamble, President of U.S. Information Solutions Joseph Loughran and President of Workforce Solutions Rodolfo Ploder -- sold nearly $1.8 million in stock just prior to the discovery of the hack. An Equifax spokeswoman said they "had no knowledge that an intrusion had occurred at the time."
The Hill reported that victims of the Equifax breach would also be notified by mail.