Equifax ups its estimates of British victims of hack to 700000

Wednesday, 11 Oct, 2017

Credit reporting agency Equifax Inc said on Tuesday that 15.2 million client records in Britain were compromised in the massive cyber attack it disclosed last month, including sensitive information affecting almost 700,000 consumers.

The beleaguered credit reference agency Equifax has now admitted that 694,000 customers in the United Kingdom had their data stolen between May and July this year.

The richly detailed consumer records were stolen between May and the end of July this year by hackers who cracked into Equifax's systems by taking advantage of an unpatched software bug, the company said.

Equifax said a file containing 15.2m United Kingdom records, dated between 2011 and 2016, was hacked and included data from "actual" consumers, as well as test and duplicate data.

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. Even though the breach didn't affect the company's United Kingdom business, it has still managed to compromise the personal information of a number of its British consumers. The company said the stolen data included driver's license information, but it didn't say for how many people.

Equifax was forced to acknowledge the extra exposed data after Mandiant, the USA cybersecurity firm investigating the breach, found an extra trove of stolen data.

Equifax said it would notify the 693,665 affected United Kingdom consumers by post and offer them several of its own and third-party risk-mitigation products for free to help minimise the risk of possible criminal activity.

Patricio Remon, Equifax's chief European executive, said: "Once again, I would like to extend my most honest apologies to anyone who has been concerned about or impacted by this criminal act".

"The NCSC, with Equifax and partners including the NCA, ICO and FCA, continues to examine this incident and should further information come to light about the extent and nature of the impact on the United Kingdom, we will provide further updates and advice as soon as we can", it said.