Credit report firm Equifax admits to data breach that could affected 143m customers.
Around 143m customers of Equifax could see their data at risk following a cyber-attack on the firm earlier this year.
Hackers are said to have managed to steal customer names, social security numbers, dates of birth addresses and even driving licenses, leaving customers now worrying their identities could be stolen.
Alongside customer’s personal information being stolen, the company revealed about 209,000 US customers credit card numbers were also taken.
The credit report firm suffered from a cyber-security hack earlier this year at the end of July, but only reported the incident this week outlining that hackers had accessed the files by exploiting a US web application vulnerability.
Richard F. Smith, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Equifax, said: “This is clearly a disappointing event for our company, and one that strikes at the heart of who we are and what we do.”
During Equifax’s investigation into the incident, the firm found some personal data for UK and Canadian residents had also been accessed. In response to this finding, Equifax has said it will work with UK and Canadian authorities to focus on the next step to help customers.
In the aftermath, Equifax has set up a separate dedicated website that allows customers to find out if their information has been affected and offer free credit monitoring and identify theft for a year.
In addition to this, the site offers information outlining steps customers can take to protect their personal information.
Those who have been affected by the cyber-attack will be contacted by the firm via email.
Smith said: “We pride ourselves on being a leader in managing and protecting data, and we are conducting a thorough review of our overall security operations.
“I apologize to consumers and our business customers for the concern and frustration this causes.”
Following the data breach announcement, Equifax’s stock shares fell by 13% to $124.10.