As you probably know, credit monitoring firm Equifax suffered a massive cyber security attack earlier this year (between May and July) which they went public about on September 7, 2017.
They originally reported that the breach had compromised the personal information of 143 million Americans and 100,000 Canadians.
Here's some of the kind of information that was exposed:
- Social insurance numbers
- Credit card numbers
They reported that the issue had been contained and that they had hired cyber security firm Mandiant to conduct a thorough investigation and provide recommendations that would prevent any future cyber security attacks.
Mandiant recently concluded the forensic portion of their investigation and Equifax provided a long-awaited update – a few highlights of which were:
- The number of US victims was revised up – from 143 million to 145.5 million
- The number of Canadian victims was revised down – from 100,000 to 8,000
- Canadians were among the victims whose credit card information was exposed
Here's an excerpt from Equifax's recent statement:
With respect to potentially impacted Canadian citizens, it was determined that personal information of approximately 8,000 Canadian consumers was impacted. In addition, it also was determined that some of the consumers with affected credit cards announced in the company’s initial statement are Canadian. The company previously had stated that there may have been up to 100,000 Canadian citizens impacted, but that number was preliminary and did not materialize.
Equifax stated they will contact impacted Canadians by mail to provide them instructions on what they should do. They also stated that they will offer impacted Canadians free identity theft protection and credit monitoring for one year.
It is worth noting that Equifax has faced criticism for its offer, as there appears to be an active financial relationship between Equifax and LifeLock, the identity theft firm that will be providing identity theft protection to impacted consumers.
So Equifax may actually be in a position to benefit financially after the one year free service is up – because many newly security-conscious consumers would likely find it hard to give up identity theft protection and opt to pay to continue.
For more information Equifax has provided the following phone number and email address:
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BC & Alberta Mortgage Broker
When I'm not breaking the knuckles of different lenders for better mortgages for my clients - I'm kidding (or am I?) - you can usually find me visiting with friends or family, writing for this blog, or doing my best to keep from capsizing a dragon boat!