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>> Equifax, one of three major consumer credit reporting agencies saying Thursday it's been hacked. Potentially leaving 143 million US consumers' social security numbers and license numbers vulnerable. And that makes this breach a serious one says Reuter's Global Tech Editor, Jonathan Webber.>> That kind of personal information is what can enable people to do identity theft and identity fraud.
So these attackers are very dangerous in that regard. And a lot of people are gonna have to be careful about their credit and their identity protection going forward.>> Equifax says it discovered the data breach on July 29th and hired a cyber security firm to investigate. Hackers had access to the company's system from mid May to July.
Equifax says over 200,000 credit card numbers were also accessed and personal information of some UK and Canadian residents were hacked as well. But there was no evidence of a breach into its core consumer or commercial credit reporting databases. Equifax's CEO, Rick Smith, posted this video apology message:>> This is clearly a disappointing event, and one that strikes at the heart of who we are and what we do.
>> Adding that the company has created a website and launched a call center to help consumers determine if their data is at risk. US companies have been grappling with major data breaches in recent years. Late last year, Yahoo said over a billion user accounts were compromised in a hack in 2013.
And that was after it disclosed that half a billion user accounts were hacked in 2014.