Equifax says hackers breached file containing 15.2 million UK records

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Equifax Data Breach

Equifax disclosed that hackers breached a file containing 15.2 million records in the United Kingdom. The attack happened between 2011 and 2016.

In a statement , the credit reporting firm said, “Regrettably, this file contained data relating to actual consumers as well as sizeable test data sets, duplicates and spurious field.”

Equifax used all of its available analytical tool and data assets to establish the identities of consumers impacted by the data breach. After completing its analysis, the credit reporting firm placed consumers into specific risk categories. The company also determined services to protect them from those risks.

Equifax said 700,000 UK consumers at risk

According to Equifax, hackers stole the personal information of 693,665 UK consumers, higher than its initial estimate of 400,000.  The company will notify affected consumers regarding the nature of the hacking and offer them proper advice.

Additionally, the firm said the remaining 14.5 million records that are potentially compromised contain the name and birth dates of certain UK consumers.

It  is offering risk mitigation products for free to reassure consumers and prevent any possible criminal activity.

145.5 million U.S. consumer impacted by the data breach

Earlier this month, Equifax completed its forensic investigation into the hacking incident on its U.S. databases. The company confirmed that the hackers accessed the data of 145.5 million U.S. consumers and up to 100,000 Canadians.

Patricio Remon, the president for Equifax Europe, reiterated his sincere apology to those concerned about or impacted by the data breach. He also said emphasized that “protecting the data of our consumers and clients is always our top priority.”

Furthermore, Remon said, “It has been regrettable that we have not been able to contact consumers who may have been impacted until now.” However, he explained that it would be inappropriate contacting them without giving full facts about the complex attack.

Equifax data breach is under government investigations

Separately, UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) issued a statement warning consumers that they could be targets of phishing attacks.

The NCSC together with other British agencies such as Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) are investigating the Equifax data breach.

In the United States, Sen. Elizabeth Warren launched an investigation into the Equifax data breach. She also proposed a new legislation to stop credit reporting agencies from exploiting consumers.