Equifax: 2.5 million added to number impacted by security breach

This July 21, 2012, photo shows Equifax Inc., offices in Atlanta. Credit monitoring company Equifax says a breach exposed social security numbers and other data from about 143 million Americans. The Atlanta-based company said Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017, that “criminals” exploited a U.S. website application to access files between mid-May and July of this year. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart)

WASHINGTON — The number of people impacted by the recent security breach at Equifax could be a lot higher than initially thought, the company announced on Monday.

Just last month, the company announced more than 143 million consumer’s personal information was potentially compromised by hackers after they found a vulnerability in a website application. The criminals had access to consumer’s names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some cases, driver’s license numbers and credit card numbers from mid-May to July 2017.

Experts eventually discovered the breach on July 29 and the company hired cyber security firm Mandiant to investigate, CNN reported.  The results of that review were reportedly sent to Interim CEO Paulino do Rego Barros, Jr. Sunday evening with a statement from Equifax being published the following day.

In it, the company said an additional 2.5 million consumers were added to the number of those impacted by the breach, bringing the grand total to 145.5 million.

Equifax stated  consumers potentially impacted will be sent a written notice. Additionally, the search option available to consumers that allows them to determine their level of risk will be updated to include the new numbers. That update will take place by October 8th.

“I want to apologize 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,” Barros added.