On July 29, Equifax, one of the three largest American credit agencies, revealed that it experienced a large-scale security breach. The credit reporting company revealed this information to its customers over one month later on September 9th, 2017. Sensitive data was hacked, including birthdays, drivers license numbers, home addresses, credit card information and customer names.
At the time of the incident, it was reported that the security breach affected 143 million Americans, accounting for nearly half of the nation’s population. Canadian and British customers of Equifax also had their data compromised. Matters were made worse when recent news revealed that the incident was more in-depth than originally communicated. An article in the Wall Street Journal showcased a letter from Senator Elizabeth Warren to the Interim Chief Executive Officer at Equifax, Paulino Do Rego Barros. The letter summarized the results of a five-month investigation and stated that in addition to the information in the initial press release, hackers were also able to access tax identification numbers, drivers license dates of issue, and email addresses.
Meredith Griffanti, an Equifax spokesperson, claimed that the initial list of personal information that was given by Equifax was never intended to represent the entire list of data that was exposed. This security breach has left an embarrassing mark on the company, and it is currently facing lawsuits from customers claiming that they did not take the proper security measures to protect their sensitive information.