Equifax Data Breach More Extensive Than Originally Thought

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The data breach that affected consumer credit reporting company Equifax affected more information than the company originally divulged according to documents given to Congress.

The company had originally said that the breach of its computer systems, announced last September, had caused the personal information of over 140 million Americans to be compromised.  Information such as Social Security numbers, dates of birth, addresses and credit card numbers were among some of the information exposed, the company said.

However, Equifax recently revealed in documents submitted to the Senate Banking Committee, which is conducting an investigation into the hack, that an investigation found hackers had accessed other company records as well.  According to the new document, that information included tax identification numbers, email addresses and even more specific details such as the expiration dates for credit cards.

A spokeswoman for the company, Meredith Griffanti, said that the subsequent announcement was not meant to mislead consumers and that the company was trying to be as exhaustive as possible.  Griffanti also said that while the list provided to Congress includes all of types of data that may have hacked by criminals, those elements impacted a minimal portion of consumers.  The company also emphasized that the total number of consumers affected remains unchanged.

The company continues to deal with multiple investigations into the breach as well as hundreds of lawsuits.  Senator Elizabeth Warren who recently released a report on the hack, described it as “one of the largest and most significant data security lapses in history.”

 

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