*Equifax, the company that supplies credit information and other information services, said Thursday that a data breach could have potentially affected 143 million consumers in the United States.
Equifax CEO and Chairman Richard Smith said he apologized to consumers and customers and noted that he’s aware of the irony — the company that monitors data breaches has been hacked.
Exposed data includes names, birth dates, Social Security numbers, addresses and some driver’s license numbers, all of which the company aims to protect for its customers.
The company added that 209,000 U.S. credit card numbers were obtained, in addition to “certain dispute documents with personal identifying information for approximately 182,000 U.S. consumers.”
Equifax said it discovered the breach on July 29. “Criminals exploited a U.S. website application vulnerability to gain access to certain files,” the company said.
Equifax said it is now alerting customers whose information was included in the breach via mail, and is working with state and federal authorities. Its private investigation into the breach is complete.