On Thursday, Equifax Inc. announced a cybersecurity incident could affect nearly 143 million U.S. consumers.
In a news release, the company said criminals exploited their website to gain access to certain files, including, includes names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver's license numbers.
In addition, credit card numbers for approximately 209,000 users were obtained and certain dispute documents with personal identifying information for approximately 182,000 consumers were accessed.
Based on the company's investigation, the unauthorized access occurred from mid-May through July 2017.
The company has found no evidence of unauthorized activity on Equifax's core consumer or commercial credit reporting databases.
"This is clearly a disappointing event for our company and one that strikes at the heart of who we are and what we do. I apologize to consumers and our business customers for the concern and frustration this causes," Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Richard F. Smith said in a statement. "We pride ourselves on being a leader in managing and protecting data, and we are conducting a thorough review of our overall security operations. We also are focused on consumer protection and have developed a comprehensive portfolio of services to support all U.S. consumers, regardless of whether they were impacted by this incident."
Equifax has established a dedicated website, www.equifaxsecurity2017.com, to help consumers determine if their information has been potentially impacted and to sign up for credit file monitoring and identity theft protection.
Consumers can also call (866) 447-7559 for more information.
In addition to the website, Equifax will send direct mail notices to consumers whose credit card numbers or dispute documents with personal identifying information were impacted. Equifax also is in the process of contacting U.S. state and federal regulators and has sent written notifications to all U.S. state attorneys general, which includes Equifax contact information for regulatory inquiries.
Equifax: Data breach exposes personal information from 143 million users