Equifax says data from 143 million Americans exposed in hack

 (Big Stock image)

(Big Stock image)

Credit monitoring company Equifax says a breach exposed social security numbers and other data from about 143 million Americans.

The Atlanta-based company said Thursday that “criminals” exploited a U.S. website application to access files between mid-May and July of this year.

It said consumers’ names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some cases, driver’s license numbers were exposed. Credit card numbers for about 209,000 U.S. consumers were also accessed.

The company said hackers also accessed some “limited personal information” from British and Canadian residents.

Equifax said it doesn’t believe that any consumers from other countries were affected.

The hack was first discovered by Equifax on July 29. The credit monitoring company’s CEO, Richard Smith, issued an apology to its customers. “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 Smith. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.