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By September 7, 2017 0 Comments

Equifax shares plunge after data breach potentially impacting 143 million Americans

Hackers exploited an Equifax website vulnerability that may impact 143 million U.S. customers–nearly two-thirds of the adult U.S. population–the company disclosed late Thursday. Shares are down more than 13% after-hours. The intruders gained entrance to the company’s data from May until July of this year, and were able to retrieve Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers and credit card numbers, among other data. According to the company about 209,000 credit card numbers were exposed as well as “dispute documents with personal identifying information” for 182,000 Americans, according to Equifax. The company has not found evidence core consumer or commercial credit reporting databases were hacked. In addition to the U.S. data, criminals accessed data for Canadian and U.K. residents. Equifax detected the breach on July 29 and hired an unnamed cybersecurity firm to determine what specific data the hackers accessed. Chief Executive Richard Smith apologized to Equifax’s customers in prepared remarks, and the company has set up a website that will determine if customers have been affected. It will also mail notices to customers whose credit card numbers or dispute documents were accessed.

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