Millions UK accounts were compromised in Equifax breach

Equifax has confirmed that the accounts of more than 15 million British customers were compromised in the cyber-attack that hit the credit reporting agency last month.

Originally, Equifax claimed that less than a million of UK consumers were affected by the breach and that the data stolen did not include sensitive information.

This time around, however, more than 700,000 people have had their sensitive data compromised.

Overall, more than 140 million people, mostly from the States, were affected by the breach. The data stolen included driver’s license numbers, Social Security numbers, birth dates and addresses.

Equifax said it will notify UK users of the risks involved and offer free help to minimise any risks.

“Once again, I would like to extend my most sincere apologies to anyone who has been concerned about or impacted by this criminal act,” said Patricio Remon, Equifax’s president for Europe. “Let me take this opportunity to emphasise that protecting the data of our consumers and clients is always our top priority.”

The Equifax breach, which might have been state-sponsored, sent the company’s CEO into retirement.

Experts are describing the incident as a “lesson in how not to handle a major data breach”.

"This is clearly a disappointing event for our company, and one that strikes at the heart of who we are and what we do. I apologize to consumers and our business customers for the concern and frustration this causes," said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Richard F. Smith.

Image source: Shutterstock/Ai825