“This is not about the newly discovered stolen data,” said Paulino do Rego Barros Jr., the interim chief executive of Equifax. “This is about sifting through previously identified data, analyzing other information that has not been used by attackers in our database, and establishing links that enable us to identify more individuals.”
This is not the first time Equifax has expanded its estimates of the impact of violations, which initially hit 143 million consumers. In October, the company increased its forecast by 2.5 million to 145.5 million. The company was dragged to Capitol hill to answer the question of failure, when former chief executive Richard Smith, who resigned in response to the crisis, accepted responsibility for the breach. Last year, the company suffered a massive data breach that affected 2.4 million more consumers than previously reported, and increased the already staggering toll, Equifax said on Thursday.
This means that as many as 1.499 billion consumers are affected by some degree, equivalent to half the country’s.
The damaged information of the affected personnel involved part of the driving license data. According to the credit report company, it does not include social security Numbers, which is the focus of earlier analysis of violations, and why the group did not find out earlier.
Last month, Elizabeth warren (d-mass.) The company did not update its computer systems in time and did not adequately describe the damage, according to a company survey.
“I spent five months investigating the irregularities in Equifax and found that the company failed to disclose the full extent of the hacking,” warren said in a statement Thursday. “Enough is enough. We must begin to take responsibility for the credit reporting industry. ”
According to warren’s research, consumer passport Numbers were stolen, but Equifax denies that.
“We can confirm passport number is our check in forensic investigation of a factor,” the company said, “we have found no evidence that any passport number stolen.”
Greg Walden (r-ore), chairman of the house energy and commerce committee. The credit agency provided only a partial answer on Thursday, although “repeated” requests were made by Equifax as part of its own investigation.
“We are now asking for a briefing with Mandiant, a third-party company that is responsible for investigating violations,” said rep. Robert e. Latta (r-ohio), who oversees the digital commerce and consumer protection subcommittee. “The American people should know what went wrong, and our investigation will continue until there is an answer.”
Equifax said Thursday it will provide free credit monitoring services to a new group of affected consumers.