Equifax hackers accessed an incredible amount of personal information in 2017’s massive breach — and it turns out the data disclosed in the breach was actually underreported.
Tax identification numbers, email addresses, and more in-depth driver’s license information were also revealed in the breach, according to a recent report from the Wall Street Journal. That’s on top of the names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and driver’s license numbers already known to be disclosed.
It’s hard to imagine the Equifax breach could get much worse at this point. More than 145 million U.S. consumers were affected by the breach, and the security risks created by the incident will likely linger for years.
No Further Risk?
Despite this recent revelation, things may not be much worse for consumers — at least, no worse than they already were. Consumer Reports talked to a cybersecurity expert who claims the additional information disclosed may not actually increase the security risks.
Al Pascual, senior vice president and research director at Javelin Strategy & Research, said the news was negative, but it may be overblown. Pascual said that “considering the scale of the breach, this additional information doesn’t move the needle. If the additional data is encompassed within the 145 million people originally impacted, then it’s not something to be concerned about.”
Equifax spokeswoman Meredith Griffanti told Consumer Reports that the “approximately 145.5 million consumers (affected by the data breach) has not changed.”
[Equifax isn’t the only company to suffer a huge data breach. Check out our list of Six Of The Biggest Data Breaches In The Modern Tech Era.]
Although the risks may not have increased by much — if at all — this is still another blow for Equifax. It also offers consumers further insight into how much of our information is in the hands of these credit reporting agencies. Government officials are still pursuing bills that would make these agencies more accountable, but it will take some time to tell if anything will come of this push.