Just when consumers were coming to grips with the financial debacle that is the Equifax data breach, the number of people affected by it continues to soar. The Atlanta-based company said Monday that 2.5 million more people may have been affected by the massive hack that the firm announced in September.
That means that the Social Security numbers, names, addresses and other personal information of as many as 145.5 million people are at risk of being used by crooks. The company said that cybersecurity firm Mandiant, which is investigating the breach, has found no new hacker “activity” since the incident, which began in the spring.
“Mandiant did not identify any evidence of additional or new attacker activity or any access to new databases or tables,” Equifax said in a news release. “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.”
As many as 145.5 million consumers at risk in Equifax data breach, company says
The latest disclosure comes as former CEO Rick Smith is set to testify in Washington before a trio of committees about the data breach. The first hearing began Tuesday at 10 a.m. ET. It is being live-streamed on C-SPAN 3 as well as the Energy and Commerce Committee website. See it live below:
Smith’s 12-year tenure at Equifax came to a stunning end last week when he abruptly retired, replaced in the interim by Paulino do Rego Barros Jr., an executive from the company’s Asia Pacific division. Equifax’s board said it will immediately begin a search for a new permanent leader.
Money expert Clark Howard says that the No. 1 way to protect yourself from identity fraud is by freezing your credit.
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