Equifax sends Congress more details on massive data breach

Equifax sends Congress more details on massive data breach”

Under-fire credit reporting agency Equifax has released updated figures clarifying the types and volumes of data stolen in its massive 2017 breach.

The statement, which breaks down the numbers of US consumers who had specific types of personal information stolen, comes eight months after Equifax first disclosed that hackers had breached its system - a revelation that spurred intense scrutiny in and outside Washington.

The company has written to several U.S. congressional committees to provide more information about the people and data caught up in the monstrous attack.

The credit-monitoring company, which gathers personal information on people without notifying them, provided details in the past about the breach, noting that 146.6 million Americans were affected, and that their birthdates, social security numbers, names and addresses were stolen.

Of the organizations that downloaded the vulnerable version of the software, seven of the businesses were Fortune Global 100 tech companies, eight were Fortune Global 100 automakers, and 15 were Fortune Global 100 financial services or insurance firms, according to Fortune.

"In response to governmental requests for additional information, the company recently analysed the dispute documents stolen in the cybersecurity incident and determined the approximate number of valid U.S. government-issued identifications that had been uploaded to the dispute portal".

"As a result of its analysis of the standardized data elements, including using data not stolen in the cybersecurity incident, the Company was able to confirm the approximate number of those impacted U.S. consumers for each of the following data elements stolen in the cybersecurity incident".

Equifax said that hackers accessed photos of 38,000 driver's licenses, 12,00 Social Security or taxpayer ID cards, 3,200 passports, and 3,000 other documents including military IDs or state-issued IDs.

"The company had not previously analysed the government-issued identifications contained in the images uploaded in the dispute portal", wrote the company in the letter.

Equifax also said that the company hired cybersecurity firm Mandiant, a subsidiary of FireEye, to help with the forensic analysis following the breach.

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