Credit Reporting Agency Equifax Says Cyberattack May Have Affected 143 Million Customers
Equifax, one of three major consumer credit reporting agencies, has confirmed that its systems
were compromised by hackers in a data breach that could have potentially affected 143 million
consumers across the United States.
According to Equifax, which discovered the breach on July 29, cyber-criminals accessed this
data by exploiting a vulnerability in Equifax’s website application, and had access to the files
from mid-May through July. The exposed data “primarily” includes a wide range of sensitive
personal information, such as names, birth dates, Social Security numbers, addresses, driver’s
license numbers, and credit card numbers.
Data thieves intentionally hack into inadequately protected servers to steal personal information
with the primary incentive of using that private data to commit identity theft and financial fraud.
Identity theft wreaks havoc on consumers’ finances, credit history, and reputation and can take
time, money, and patience to resolve. Identity thieves use stolen personal information for a
variety of crimes, including credit card fraud, phone or utilities fraud, banking or finance fraud,
and government fraud. Moreover, a person whose personal information has been compromised
may not see the full extent of identity theft or fraud for years.
Despite the fact that information security is at the heart of what Equifax does, this is not the first
time the company has faced a data breach. Rather, Equifax has acknowledged or been
implicated in previous data breaches, including smaller incidents in 2013 and 2015.
FBFG’s attorneys are experienced in prosecuting class actions on behalf of data breach victims,
and have secured record-setting settlements in such actions. If you or someone you know was an
Equifax customer, please contact us to discuss your legal options.