Security Experts:

Equifax Breach Bigger Than Initially Reported

Number of U.S. Consumers Exposed by Equifax Breach Increased by 2.5 Million

Equifax on Monday afternoon said that 2.5 million additional U.S. consumers were exposed as a result of the massive data breach disclosed by the company last month. The credit reporting agency now says that a total of 145.5 million individuals have been exposed, after originally saying that 143 million had been impacted.

Data exposed as a result of cyber attack involved names, social security numbers, dates of birth, addresses and, in some cases, driver’s license numbers and credit card numbers.

According to Equifax, FireEye-owned Mandiant, which was retained by Equifax to investigate the breach, has completed the forensic portion of its investigation of the incident to finalize the consumers potentially impacted.

"I was advised Sunday that the analysis of the number of consumers potentially impacted by the cybersecurity incident has been completed, and I directed that the results be promptly released," newly appointed interim CEO, Paulino do Rego Barros, Jr. said. "Our priorities are transparency and improving support for consumers. I will continue to monitor our progress on a daily basis."

According to Equifax, Mandiant was not able to identify any evidence of additional or new attacker activity or any access to new databases or tables, and concluded that there is no evidence the attackers accessed databases located outside of the United States.

The investigation found that personal information of approximately 8,000 Canadian consumers was impacted, a figure lower than the 100,000 originally estimated by the company. “That number was preliminary and did not materialize,” Equifax said.

In a statement to a congressional committee on Monday, former Equifax CEO Richard Smith said the security team at Equifax failed to patch a vulnerability in March after becoming aware of the flaw, which according to Equifax policy, would have required a patch to be applied within 48 hours.

Equifax says that it maintains data on more than 820 million consumers and more than 91 million businesses worldwide.

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For more than 10 years, Mike Lennon has been closely monitoring the threat landscape and analyzing trends in the National Security and enterprise cybersecurity space. In his role at SecurityWeek, he oversees the editorial direction of the publication and is the Director of several leading security industry conferences around the world.