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Equifax was hacked so they punished the customers

(BUSINESS NEWS) Equifax was hacked in one of the largest security breaches ever and is adding insult to injury with how they’re treating customers.

(BUSINESS NEWS) Equifax was hacked in one of the largest security breaches ever and is adding insult to injury with how they're treating customers.

Maximum exposure

In what may be one of the largest security breaches in history, hackers exposed sensitive personal information from millions of Equifax customers.

The breach happened sometime between May and June of this year, but Equifax only came forward about the breach last Thursday.

Worst ever

Equifax is a credit-reporting agency that rates the financial histories of its customers. While some customers willingly sign up for Equifax’s services, sometimes the company does obtain data from third parties, such as banks or other lenders, credit card companies, and retailers. This means that not everyone whose information was leaked is even aware that they are an Equifax “customer.”

The breach revealed information from up to 143 million customers in the U.S., and an unknown number of Canadian and U.K. customers.

The company says that 209,000 U.S. credit card numbers have been leaked, as well as personal identifying information for another 182,000 U.S. customers.

CNN is calling the breach one of “the worst ever,” not only because of the sheer number of people impacted, but also because of the very sensitive nature of the leaked information, which included names, social security numbers, addresses, birthdates, credit card numbers, and drivers’ license numbers.

Check your mail

Equifax has mailed notices to the over 200,000 people whose credit card information was hacked. As for the other hundreds of thousands of customers whose information was leaked, they’ll have to go to the company’s site to find out whether or not they’ve been affected.

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To add insult to injury, Equifax is encouraging customers whose information may have been hacked to sign up for “credit file monitoring and identity theft protection” and is offering a free one-year membership to TrustedID Premier.

The catch: you have to give Equifax even more personal information, and, by signing up, you waive your right to sue them for damages incurred from the breach.

How did this happen? A representative from Equifax says that hackers “exploited a U.S. website application vulnerability to gain access to certain filed.” Equifax is, of course, investigating, as is New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Congressman Ted Lieu (D-CA) is encouraging the House Judiciary Committee to look into the matter as well.

Investigation station

Equifax is also being investigated by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, who told CNN Money that they are “authorized to take enforcement action against institutions engaged in unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices, or that otherwise violate federal consumer financial laws.”


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Ellen Vessels, a Staff Writer at The American Genius, is respected for their wide range of work, with a focus on generational marketing and business trends. Ellen is also a performance artist when not writing, and has a passion for sustainability, social justice, and the arts.



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