Equifax Hackers hacks Personal details of 143 million users

Equifax Inc, a credit card monitoring company, said on Thursday that personal details of more than 143 million U.S. consumers were compromised by hackers in mid-May and July.

The data obtained by the hackers include — Social Security numbers, birthdates, address histories, legal names, and in some cases, driver’s license numbers were exposed.  About 209,000 US consumers credit card numbers were also accessed.

The shares of the company fell nearly 19 percent after investors reacted to possible exposure of sensitive data of nearly half of the U.S. population.

“This is clearly a disappointing event for our company and one that strikes at the heart of who we are and what we do,” said the company’s chairman and CEO Richard Smith. “We pride ourselves on being a leader in managing and protecting data, and we are conducting a thorough review of our overall security operations.”

Equifax said information of some UK and Canadian residents was also gained in the hack.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating the hack.

An analyst with CreditCards.com, Matt Schultz said, "The credit freeze is the nuclear option of credit protection. But in the wake of a breach this big, it's worth considering."

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