If you have been living under a rock for the last 6 or so months then, you may not be aware of the massive breach suffered by the credit bureau Equifax . In a recent Washington Post article written by Brian Fung, he details out how the 2017 data breach continues to get worse.
Fung writes - Equifax said Thursday that 2.4 million more consumers than previously reported were affected by the massive data breach the company suffered last year, adding to an already stunning toll.
This means that as many as 147.9 million consumers have been affected in some way by the breach, which amounts to about half the country.
The affected people's compromised information involves partial driver's license data. It does not include Social Security numbers, which was the focus of earlier analyses of the breach and the reason this group of consumers was not identified sooner, according to the credit reporting company.
“This is not about newly discovered stolen data,” said Paulino do Rego Barros Jr., Equifax's interim chief executive. “It's about sifting through the previously identified stolen data, analyzing other information in our databases that was not taken by the attackers, and making connections that enabled us to identify additional individuals.”
This is not the first time Equifax has expanded its estimate of the breach's impact, which initially was put at 143 million consumers. In October, the company raised its estimate by 2.5 million, to 145.5 million. The company was dragged to Capitol Hill to answer for its missteps, with former chief executive Richard Smith — who by then had resigned in light of the crisis — accepting responsibility for the breach.
Last month, a probe by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said the company failed to keep its computer systems adequately up to date and was not forthcoming enough about its description of the damage.
“I spent five months investigating the Equifax breach and found the company failed to disclose the full extent of the hack,” Warren said in a statement Thursday. “Enough is enough. We have to start holding the credit reporting industry accountable.”
Warren's investigation suggested that consumers' passport numbers had been stolen, but Equifax denies the claim.
“We can confirm that passport numbers were an element we examined while conducting the forensic investigation,” the company said, “and we found no evidence that any passport numbers were stolen.”
Long story short - More than likely the bad guys already have some of your most sensitive personal information... The problem is we don't know what they intend to do with it or when they intend to do it. The best defense is a good offense. Do something... if DefendMyID isn't the right solution... get a comparable product provided by another reputable company. Morale of the story is, don't do nothing!