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Published: Fri, October 13, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Equifax hack: 15.2 MILLION UK records hacked in cyberattack

Equifax hack: 15.2 MILLION UK records hacked in cyberattack

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.

The huge data breach was part of an attack on the firm's world-wide customer records in which the personal details of 146 million people in the USA were stolen, along with 8,000 Canadians.

Equifax has said that the additional customers have been contacted, with passwords, email addresses, phone numbers, driving license number and card details potentially stolen.

The company said an independent investigation found that a file containing 15.2 million records between 2011 and 2016 was attacked, with names and dates of birth at risk, and that 693,665 could have had personally identifiable information stolen.

Stabenow's legislation, the Freedom from Equifax Exploitation (FREE) Act, holds credit reporting agencies accountable and provides MI families with more control over their credit information and more options to protect themselves when their data is compromised.

US consumers started being notified by Equifax after it disclosed the incident on September 7. "Let me take this opportunity to emphasise that protecting the data of our consumers and clients is always our top priority", said Patricio Remon, President for Equifax UK.

An internal investigation determined the unauthorized access occurred from mid-May through July 2017, according to the company.

In Britain, Equifax is licensed as a credit reference agency and broker by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which said it has been discussing all aspects of the incident with it, but declined to comment further.

The reason why British consumers are caught up in this is that a "process error" meant that some United Kingdom data was stored in the US.

We will offer Equifax Protect for free.

Separately, the UK Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), which is charge of enforcing data protection regulations, said it was continuing to investigate how UK consumers were affected.

But what does Equifax, and its counterpart Experian, actually do for us? Globally, it collects data on more than 820 million consumers and more than 91 million businesses in 24 nations.

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