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Equifax breach could cost hundreds of millions of dollars, says Forrester analyst

11 September, 2017, 19:10 | Author: Jeff Stephens
  • Equifax Says Cyberattack May Have Affected 143 Million Customers

In the same hack attack, Equifax lost almost 209.000 consumers credit card numbers and so far the unspecified number of driver licenses, but an alleviating circumstance is that no intrusions on "core consumer or commercial credit reporting databases" at Equifax were discovered.

The company added that 209,000 US credit card numbers were obtained, in addition to "certain dispute documents with personal identifying information for approximately 182,000 USA consumers".

"We also are focused on consumer protection and have developed a comprehensive portfolio of services to support all U.S. consumers, regardless of whether they were impacted by this incident".

Equifax has created a website, www.equifaxsecurity2017.com, for consumers to see if their information is at risk and is offering freed credit monitoring. Never give out any of your personal information to someone who has contacted you "regarding the Equifax breach" (or any other breach or circumstance, for that matter). Data revealed included Social Security numbers, addresses, driver's license data, and birth dates. Rest assured that regardless of the measures that Equifax takes, hackers will redouble their efforts to access the treasure troves of credit bureau information.

The population of the U.S. was about 324 million as of January 1, 2017, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, which means the Equifax incident affects a huge portion of the United States. They don't simply hold personal information related to one of your accounts - they hold information on ALL of your reported credit accounts. Many credit-card companies and other financial services firms now offer free monthly or quarterly credit reports. Credit bureaus like Equifax are lightly regulated compared to other parts of the financial system.

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So when was the last time you looked at your credit report?

A freeze takes your credit report out of circulation.

A few days ago, a major hack happened at the credit reporting agency Equifax, which is one of the three major clearinghouses for Americans' credit histories.

Put a fraud alert on your file.

Vlcek says that, rather than taking advantage of Equifax's offer, consumers should "consider looking into a credit freeze that will stop hackers from using your identity to accrue debt" and "closely monitor all email, social, credit card and bank accounts closely for suspicious activities".

Blackberry Priv will not be updated to Nougat says Blackberry GM
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You can view your credit reports for free at AnnualCreditReport.com. McGonnigal alleges he has "recently had four credit accounts opened in his name without his authorization".

Patrick McKenzie has written a guide for individuals dealing with personal fallout from the breach, to help them decide what they should do to protect themselves and their credit. If you are active duty military, you can also file a one-year fraud alert while you are deployed.

More sinister cybercriminals could use that data to pin crimes on you, according to Eva Velasquez, CEO of the Identity Theft Resource Center, a nonprofit that assists fraud victims.

If you ever have reason to believe that you have been a victim of identity theft, the Federal Trade Commission has a website to guide you through the steps of reporting and recovering at this helpful website.

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