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Data hacking – hacker attack on financial services endangers millions of Americans News

Friday, September 8th, 2017 | Economy

These numbers are often used in the US for everyday identification, for example in the case of mobile phone contracts or credit requests. Equifax, the economics agency, admitted late Thursday that attackers had access to names, dates, and addresses in their system. The combination of these four pieces of information can open the door to fraudsters by, for example, borrowing credits in foreign names.
The attack took place from mid-May to July, the financial service provider on Thursday announced. Credit card numbers are affected in more than 200,000 cases, and in some cases the driving license data – which are often used for identification in America. These documents can be exchanged relatively quickly, but the social security number accompanies an American through his entire life. With 143 million people, more than 40 percent of the US population would be affected by data theft.
Stock breaks in
The incident was found on 29 July in an internal investigation, the security gap was immediately closed, explained the company. At the same time, questions were raised that Finance Commissioner John Gamble and two other top managers sold Equifax shares in the first days of August for about 1.8 million dollars. A spokesman told the "Wall Street Journal" that they had sold only a small portion of their shares and had not known anything about hacking at the time. The Equifax share fell by more than 13 percent on Thursday after-trading.
Some customers from Canada and Great Britain are also affected to a lesser extent, Equifax said. The supervisory authorities had been informed and external specialists were commissioned with a forensic examination. It was still too early to figure the costs.
CEO Richard Smith apologized to the affected customers and spoke of a blow that had targeted the heart of the company. For Equifax the incident is particularly unpleasant because the company itself offers products against data and identity theft by hackers.
However, it is not the first time that the company is aware of cyber attacks. According to US media, financial data and personal information from US celebrities will be stolen by Equifax in 2013. Among those affected were Beyoncé, Ashton Kutcher and Mel Gibson, as well as First Lady Michelle Obama and former Vice President Joe Biden.


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