Equifax has warned that its forensic examination of its hugely damaging breach past year has revealed that more customers have had their personal data compromised than first thought.
The data belonging to these last 2.4 million people didn't include Social Security numbers-it was only partial driver's license information. However, in some cases home addresses and more detailed driver's license validation and expiration dates may have been included.
The new revelations bring the total number of USA consumers affected to just shy of 148 million, with hundreds of thousands of British and Canadian customers also hit.
Equifax is saying that an additional 2.4 million Americans were impacted by the breach, but had less of their personal information stolen.
Now Equifax's investigation into the breach has revealed that the details of an additional 2.4m United States customers were also obtained by the hackers responsible for the breach. This was in part because forensics experts had determined that the attackers were predominately focused on stealing SSNs. They were previously unidentified, the company says, because their Social Security numbers were not stolen.
"Equifax will notify these newly identified USA consumers directly, and will offer identity-theft protection and credit-file monitoring services at no cost to them".
Newcomers to the growing club of those who've been Equifax-ified should note that critics don't much like the services that Equifax has offered in the wake of this string of nonpearls.
To find out if you are affected by the data breach, Equifax has created this website. Then too, let's not forget the insufficient, underprepared operators at the call centers, leaving alarmed customers facing delays and agents who couldn't answer questions. The breach was first discovered on July 29, but the company did not announce the discovery until September a year ago.
"I hope other companies are able to learn from this mistake, and keep in mind to publish content only on trusted domains", Sweeting, who lives in Medellín, Colombia, told NPR at the time, calling the Equifax site "dangerously easy to impersonate".
So, what to do in light of the new findings? "Enough is enough. We have to start holding the credit reporting industry accountable".
What the muck!?! Somebody please set up some credit-score-checking afternoon teas or something!