BREAKING NEWS: Equifax announced yesterday that a breach occurred that may have affected as many as 143 million consumers, roughly two out of five American consumers. The incident was limited to Equifax and was not in any way related to CO-OP Financial Services, credit unions or any direct merchants. A relatively small number of card numbers were compromised, non-specific to credit unions.
Still, the impact to credit unions will be substantial. Identity theft opportunities related to the 143 million personal data records – which may be appended to other acquired records and leveraged for account takeovers – will likely affect the industry for years. As we roll up our sleeves and look for ways to help credit unions communicate with members, monitor member accounts and secure data across our systems, here’s a quick rundown on what’s occurred:
Equifax Announces Cybersecurity Incident Involving Consumer Information
Here’s the official word from Equifax on the breach and its effect. Some 143 million consumers were affected, or roughly two out of five Americans. “The information accessed primarily includes names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver’s license numbers. In addition, 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.” Equifax is offering free credit monitoring and identity theft protection to all U.S. consumers.
Credit Unions Call for Standards in Wake of Equifax Breach
Crackerjack reporting from the CU Times: Reactions from NAFCU president and CEO Dan Berger, Credit Union Association of New Mexico CEO Paul Stull, and Morey Haber of BeyondTrust on the implications of the Equifax breach to credit unions and the need for security standards for retailers and other companies that handle sensitive data.
Equifax Breach Response Turns to Dumpster Fire
What happens when your response to a massive consumer data breach becomes its own disaster? Early reports indicated that the site Equifax set up to provide consumers with information on how the breach might have impacted them was being flagged by various browsers as a potential phishing site. And that’s just the beginning.
What to Do if Your Information Was Breached
This quick recap also includes handy information on what to do to determine whether your information was breached, and what to do about it if it was.
Equifax Shares Plunge: Data Breach Will Likely Cost Hundreds of Millions
What’s the likely damage of the Equifax breach? While information is still preliminary, Wall Street analysts say losses in the $300 million-plus range are likely.