An analysis has found that far more consumers had vital info compromised than originally estimated
The Equifax data breach is even worse than originally thought.
In the breach – which Equifax discovered last summer but did not make public until months later – the personal information of about 145.5 million consumers was stolen. In some instances, the hackers were able to steal credit-card numbers, Social Security numbers and driver’s license information. Equifax announced Thursday that “ongoing analysis of data” had revealed that about 2.4 million more customers than originally thought had their names and at least partial driver’s license information stolen.
“This information was partial because, in the vast majority of cases, it did not include consumers’ home addresses, or their respective driver’s license states, dates of issuance, or expiration dates,” Equifax said in a statement. The company said that the affected consumers weren’t previously informed because their Social Security numbers and driver’s license information “weren’t stolen together.”
“This is not about newly discovered stolen data,” said interim CEO Paulino do Rego Barros Jr. “It’s about sifting through the previously identified stolen data, analyzing other information in our databases that was not taken by the attackers, and making connections that enabled us to identify additional individuals.”
Equifax said it planned to identify affected consumers directly and offer identity theft protection and credit monitoring at no cost.