2.5M more consumers impacted by Equifax breach; investigation continues
- The Equifax breach may have impacted an additional 2.5 million more U.S. consumers, according to a company announcement Monday. The forensic part of the investigation of the breach, completed by cybersecurity firm Mandiant, places the impacted population at 145.5 million.
- The investigation found no evidence of database access outside of the United States. Initial estimates of Canadian citizens impacted — originally numbered at up to 100,000 — were pared down to approximately 8,000. Information on affected U.K. citizens is still being analyzed.
- Equifax will send the recently discovered impacted consumers written notices. Mandiant's investigation is still ongoing and expected to take several more weeks, according to the announcement.
While 143 million impacted consumers may not be the largest breach of recent years, the nature of accessed personal information makes it one of the worst. Credit card numbers, social security numbers, driver's license numbers, birth dates and addresses were potentially compromised, opening up millions of consumers to identity theft.
A 1.75% increase in affected consumers comes out to 2.5 million consumers which further illustrates the scope of the Equifax breach. Interim CEO Paulino do Rego Barros, Jr. will have his work cut out for him handling the ongoing investigation and legal battles.
Equifax is being investigated by the FTC and bogged down by more than 30 lawsuits, not to mention heavily criticized by politicians and the population for its handling of the breach.
The courts have generally sided with companies when similar lawsuits were raised, but the scale of the Equifax breach has many experts wary that changes are coming. If the courts side with the plaintiffs, who have now increased in number, Equifax will be facing significant financial ramifications and the decisions could be a turning point for how corporations handle cybersecurity.
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