Equifax has stated that the hack began back in May, but the company didn’t discover it until July, and failed to disclose it to consumers for another six weeks.

 

Credit reporting agencies are the boogeymen of first-time homebuyers and loan-seekers. It’s an industry with very little transparency, and few protections for consumers, but it just got a whole lot worse. Well, it got worse months ago in May, according to the Washington Post, but Equifax, one of the three largest U.S. credit reporting companies, didn’t even notice until July, and then didn’t bother to disclose it for another six weeks or so, though no reason has been provided for this delay.

 

The world has seen no shortage of major data breaches over the last few years, and Equifax’s 143 million exposed individuals is among the most serious, specifically because of the sensitivity of the data. Where Yahoo’s data breaches were the most massive in scale, the contents were limited to things like phone numbers and birthdates. Equifax is in the business of finance, and that requires the most sensitive of personal information.

 

Among the data exposed are all of the components of identity theft, namely Social Security Number, Date of Birth, and home address. The agency additionally reporting having lost control of a number of driver’s license numbers and credit card numbers, though the scale of those losses seemed drastically lower by comparison, reported on the order of 200,000.

 

While another of the three big credit reporting agencies, Experian, got hacked back in 2015, the number of people affected was only a fraction of this breach.

 

Equifax has stated that it will be alerting those affected by mail, though, with the adult population of the U.S. being somewhere around 240 million, the 143 million affected has a very good chance of including you. It might be a good opportunity to re-examine your own security habits, since it sometimes seems nobody else will.

  Feature Image via LA Times

  • Ishare

    I smell something fishy.
    Time to implement New National photo ID. The personal identity theft can only be taken advantage of by the left and the criminals.

    • 0bsoleteMan

      An interesting solution to this might be to allow for the Social Security Administration to issue “one time use” codes that tie back to an citizen’s real SSN. This way a person can generate a one time code to apply for a job, or another to apply for one line of credit, or another to apply for a mortgage, etc.

      This way should there be a breach, the one time codes would be worthless.

      • Ishare

        Who’s SSN will Obama use?

  • They didn’t report the data breach because the executives needed time to sell off their stock before it tanked.

  • Steve O

    Information security appears to be an illusion. Do not keep large sums in your checking account, and review your credit card statements carefully. You can also put a block on your credit report. It will a pain the ass every time you need someone to access it for a legitimate purpose, but for many it will be worth it.

    Obviously, if you have bad credit and no money you’re safe.

  • 0bsoleteMan

    Why don’t these hackers do something useful and reset everyone’s debt to zero?

  • ebm120

    Sue time!

  • M&M

    it has been reported that their executive sold their stock investments before making a public announcement that they were hacked. this in its self should be a crime