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Equifax announces huge data breach

The credit rating and reporting firm Equifax today reported a huge data breach with potential impacts on almost half the population of the US.  The data breach is easily the largest reported this year and took place between mid-May through July of 2017.

While the company has said that there is no evidence of compromise to its core consumer and commercial credit reporting databases, it has found that there was unauthorized access to information including names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and in some cases drivers license numbers.  Credit card information of about 209,000 consumers and some dispute documents with personally identifying information were also accessed without authorization.  The primary impact of the data breach is for US consumers.  However, Equifax has also determined that some information on consumers in the UK and Canada was also compromised.

Equifax has responded to this breach with a public announcement, the engagement of a cyber security firm to assess the full impact of the breach.  They have created a web site to provide further information on the breach and its potential impact.  Beyond that, however, Equifax is making the unprecedented offer of a free package of identity theft protection and credit file monitoring to all US consumers at no cost.  To read more about the details of this data breach and Equifax offer, visit the Equifax security response web site at https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/ .