Each day, the news regarding the Equifax breach, where upwards of 143 million account records were exposed through a flaw in a web service, keeps getting worse. On September 20th, we learned that apparently, the initial breach occurred sometime prior to March 2017 when Equifax hired an outside security company to review their systems but then, nearly four months went by before Equifax cyber-security personnel discovered it extent. And then it was nearly two months later before the general public was told about it. It will likely be months or years till the full details and extent of the breach is fully understood.
There have been many other hacks and breaches over the past several years. Many, like the Yahoo email address breach were much larger, exposing several times more user information. In the Yahoo hack, over a half billion email accounts and passwords were possibly exposed. So why is the Equifax breach far more serious? Because of the amount of personal data that’s stored by Equifax in one set of records. Nearly all important information about individuals including social security numbers, dates of birth, employment information, banking, loans, mortgages, and credit card information is right there. For the “bad-guys”, it’s a treasure trove.