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Equifax admits 2.5 million additional US citizens may have been caught up in data breach

EQUIFAX HAS ADMITTED that an additional 2.5 million Americans may have been affected by the massive data breach it disclosed last month, bringing the total up from 143 million to 145.5 million.

The hack, which exposed details including customers’ social security numbers, birth dates, addresses and some driver’s license numbers, had less of an impact on Canadian consumers than originally expected, though. 

Equifax said on Monday that 8,000 Canadians were impacted, having initially said that as many as 100,000 Canadian citizens may have been affected by the breach. In a statement, the company said that this number “was preliminary and did not materialise.”

These new figures come from a finalised forensic investigation conducted by the cybersecurity firm Mandiant.

“Mandiant did not identify any evidence of additional or new attacker activity or any access to new databases or tables,” Equifax said. “Instead, this additional population of consumers was confirmed during Mandiant’s completion of the remaining investigative tasks and quality assurance procedures built into the investigative process.”

Mandiant also said there’s no evidence the attackers accessed databases outside of the US.

Equifax previously said that around 400,000 UK consumers may have been caught up in the breach. While the forensic investigation has been completed, the firm said that results are still being analyzed and that it’s still engaged in “discussions with regulators in the United Kingdom regarding the scope of the company’s consumer notifications.”

This update comes just days after Equifax CEO Richard Smith announced that he is, er, “retiring” in light of the major breach.

In a statement, the now-former CEO called serving in the job an “honour,” adding: I’m indebted to the 10,000 Equifax employees who have dedicated their lives to making this a better company,” he said.

“The cybersecurity incident has affected millions of consumers, and I have been completely dedicated to making this right. At this critical juncture, I believe it is in the best interests of the company to have new leadership to move the company forward,” he said. µ



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