Just when Equifax thought it had put the worst behind it following last month’s catastrophic data breach, a forensic investigation has exposed that another 2.5 million people – on top of the original 143 million – have had their personal data compromised.
In any other breach, 2.5 million would be huge; in Equifax’s case, it seems almost inconsequential, even though it brings the total number up to 145.5 million – or half the population of the US.
The UK investigation has also been completed, but no details were released as the information is still being analysed.
Last month, Equifax said 400,000 UK consumers were affected, even though the firm’s British systems were not hacked. Instead, a “process error” meant some British data was stored in the US.
Equifax said it was unlikely that the breach would lead to identify theft, but it would be offering support and identity protection services to any UK resident affected. The company said it is working with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).
The forensic investigation has confirmed that none of Equifax’s databases outside the US were breached, with the company previously attributing the hack to a web server vulnerability.
Newly appointed interim CEO Paulino do Rego Barros said: “I was advised Sunday that the analysis of the number of consumers potentially impacted by the cybersecurity incident has been completed, and I directed that the results be promptly released.
“Our priorities are transparency and improving support for consumers. I will continue to monitor our progress on a daily basis.
“I want to apologise again to all impacted consumers. As this important phase of our work is now completed, we continue to take numerous steps to review and enhance our cybersecurity practices. We also continue to work closely with our internal team and outside advisors to implement and accelerate long-term security improvements.”
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