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Equifax hack may have been worse than previously thought

(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/Ai825)

The data breach that hit Equifax last year may have done more damage than was originally reported, new reports have claimed.

According to The Wall Street Journal, a document submitted to the Senate Banking Committee reads that things like tax identification numbers, which are used when someone doesn’t have a social security number, were also stolen. Then, there were e-mail addresses, credit card information, and even extra driver's license information, including the states and dates where and when they have been issued.

A spokesperson for Equifax told the Wall Street Journal that the company did notify those whose credit card details were compromised. They also said that a 'small number' of emails were compromised.

Roughly 143 million of US consumers were affected, together with an unknown number of people in the UK and Canada.

Equifax's core consumer or commercial credit reporting databases were untouched, the company originally said, but names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver's license numbers, were. Also, credit card numbers for approximately 209,000 U.S. consumers, and certain dispute documents with personal identifying information for approximately 182,000 U.S. consumers, were accessed as well.

The company was quick to apologise and offered a remedy: it is offering every US citizen a year's worth of free identity theft monitoring for all those that apply. It has also set up a dedicated call centre and a website to handle information requests from customers.

Soon after the breach, the company CEO resigned.

Image source: Shutterstock/Ai825