File containing details of 15.2m Brits lost to hackers

Today consumers who want to freeze access to their credit files must contact each of the three major credit bureaus separately and usually pay one fee for freezing and another for thawing their reports

Today consumers who want to freeze access to their credit files must contact each of the three major credit bureaus separately and usually pay one fee for freezing and another for thawing their reports

Equifax has admitted that the personal data of nearly 700,000 British people was stolen in a cyberattack in the summer, far more than it previously said.

Following the colossal breach, both the CIO and the CSO resigned, and in the days following this, the CEO also stepped down due to the poor handling of the situation.

The majority of that figure (637,430) might only have had their phone number accessed, however this opens them up to scams, while the remainder had at least one of their email address, secret questions, partial credit card details or driving licence potentially compromised. Of the 15.2 million hacked records, around 14.5 million contained limited personal information of clients, restricted to customers' names and dates of birth.

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When Equifax US reported a serious data breach in early September, it was bad news for the company's US user base - and those on whom it holds data without any direct interaction - with 143 million individuals affected. That number amounts to more than half the US adult population.

Last week, former Equifax chief Richard Smith blamed a combination of human and technical error for the breach, which is not the largest on record but which could have leaked sensitive financial information on consumers.

Hackers breached Equifax's system in May and maintained access to the information for more than a month until the company discovered the suspicious activity at the end of July.

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Jackley says all three agencies have a responsibility to protect personal information and the least they can do is stop charging ten bucks to place a freeze.

But what does Equifax, and its counterpart Experian, actually do for us? The maximum fine the ICO can levy for breaches of United Kingdom data protection rules is 500,000 pounds ($660,500).

The NCSC along with Britain's National Crime Agency, Financial Conduct Authority and other government entities are investigating the Equifax breach and plan to offer future updates if necessary. Globally, it collects data on more than 820 million consumers and more than 91 million businesses in 24 nations.

More news: "Extensive" hack breaches Australian defence data

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