Credit monitoring company Equifax says a breach exposed the social security numbers and other data of about 143 million Americans.
Equifax, one of the largest credit reporting firm in the US, admitted today that it had suffered a massive data breach somewhere between mid-May and July, which was discovered on July 29.
After discovering the breach, but before notifying the public, three Equifax senior executives sold shares in the company worth almost $1.8m.
“On a scale of 1 to 10, this is a 10 in terms of potential identity theft,” said Gartner security analyst Avivah Litan.
Stolen data includes consumers’ names, Social Security numbers, birth dates for 143 million Americans, in some instances driving licence numbers, and credit card numbers for about 209,000 citizens.The company said that some personal information for Canadian and British residents was also compromised.
The company established a website, https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/ , where people can check to see if their personal information may have been stolen. Consumers can also call 866-447-7559 for more information.
“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.