Equifax Inc., which supplies credit information and other information services, said Thursday that a cybersecurity incident could have potentially affected 143 million consumers in the U.S.
The U.S. Census Bureau said the U.S. population was about 324 million as of January 1, 2017, which means this affects a huge portion of the United States.
Equifax said it discovered the breach on July 29. Leaked data includes names, birth dates, social security numbers, addresses and potentially drivers licenses. 209,000 U.S. credit card numbers were also obtained, in addition to "certain dispute documents with personal identifying information for approximately 182,000 U.S. consumers."
Equifax CEO and chairman Richard Smith said he recognizes this breach "strikes at the heart of who we are and what we do" and apologized to consumers and customers.
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.
Customers affected by the breach can sign up for credit monitoring and identity theft protection by visiting www.equifaxsecurity2017.com.
Shares of Equifax fell nearly 6 percent during after-hours trading.
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