If your social security number has been exposed, consider putting a credit freeze or fraud alert on your credit reports with the three major credit reporting agencies. All hacked. We're talking names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, driver's license numbers.
In addition to this, as per Equifax's investigation, hackers accessed the credit card numbers of about 209,000 USA consumers and "certain dispute documents with personal identifying information" of almost 182,000 US consumers.
While their services are essential to the US economy, the credit-reporting bureaus don't have the same regulatory oversight as the financial industry. Within 10 to 14 days, consumers receive a letter from Equifax which provides a toll-free number and unique (to each consumer) personal identification or PIN number for use in freely unlocking/relocking their credit file. You can sign up at the same site listed above, and the deadline to do so is November 21.
Place a credit freeze at all three credit bureaus. (EFX - Free Report) is in question as very sensitive personal data of approximately 143 million consumers has been stolen from the credit information provider's database.
Lenders rely on the information collected by the credit bureaus to help them decide whether to approve financing for homes, cars and credit cards.
Beware of scammers who may purport to be from the retailer, your bank, or your credit card issuer, telling you that your card was compromised and suggesting actions to "fix" the problem.
US Open champion Sloane Stephens
And for the most part, it's only been Serena Williams , who gave birth to her first child on September 1st and isn't competing. Due to the foot injury and Surgery, Stephens 957th ranked sidelined for about 11 months and this year entered the U.S. open.
"For far too long, businesses have under-invested in software integrity, relying on network-based defenses that are incapable of protecting many exploit vectors, including those associated with open source security defects", Wayne Jackson, chief executive officer of Sonatype Inc. If you want to take out a loan yourself, you'll have to contact the reporting agency to temporarily lift the freeze. Such PINs could potentially be brute-forced by someone attempting to unlock a credit report for the goal of identity theft.
Those exposed now have the potential to become victims of identity theft.
Experts say a breach like this takes time.
Following criticism from many in the infosec sphere, Equifax told The New York Times that it will be changing the PIN generation and request process: "While we have confidence in the current system, we understand and appreciate that consumers have questions about how PINs are now generated".
Equifax is trying again to clarify language about people's right to sue, and said Monday it has made other changes to address customer complaints.
Several state attorneys general have also said they would investigate, including those from New York, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.