Over 8 Million New Yorkers Affected By Data Breach

Attorney General Josh Shapiro

"Millions of Californians' personal information has been compromised as a result of this massive data breach".

Equifax first discovered the vulnerability in late July, though it chose not to announce it publicly until more than a month later. All hacked. We're talking names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, driver's license numbers. Experian Plc, Equifax and TransUnion, the three biggest USA credit-reporting companies, uncovered cases in 2013 where hackers gained illegal, unauthorized access to user information. Online information about consumer financial protection issues is available at www.credit.maine.gov. The company has found no evidence that personal information of consumers in any other country has been impacted.

It's also offering free credit-file monitoring and identify-theft protection.

Spokespeople for Equifax did not respond to inquiries from HuffPost about why it changed the credit card policy.

You'll be directed to a screen that lists the steps of the process.

Once credit reports get frozen, banks can not obtain access to them either. Several politicians and consumer groups have criticized this provision.

Richard F. Smith, the firm's chief executive, published a statement on his website saying "This is clearly a disappointing event for our company, and one that strikes at the heart of who we are and what we do".

Sometimes credit report freezes get offered for free.

Equifax is one of the nation's three major credit reporting agencies.

Taking an inventory of your accounts and passwords.

"You need to take more action", one consumer wrote on Twitter to Equifax.

To run afoul of laws that prohibit insider trading, a seller has to be aware of nonpublic information, said Stephen Crimmins, a former enforcement lawyer for the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Clark said a credit freeze is the only answer in this case.

A credit freeze makes it so that new loans and credit accounts can't be opened in that person's name. At that point you'll be given a date when you can return to the site and sign up for the service. But it's free for residents of some states, including Maine, New Jersey and SC.

The Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection, which administers the Fair Credit Reporting Act in ME, issued a news release Friday afternoon encouraging people to take the breach seriously and consider basic steps to protect their identify, financial accounts and credit reports. He says someone likely made a programming or configuration mistake.

The site where Mashable uncovered the information is now offline.

"It's teaching people entirely the wrong things about using the internet securely", Weidman said.

There you can also access frequently asked questions about Equifax. Hopefully, this will all end well and without a lot of hassle for the people affected by this cyber attack.

Equifax is a credit checking agency. And Rep. Greg Walden, the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, says he'll hold a hearing examining what wrong and how to better protect against future hackings.

Two New Yorkers filed suit against Equifax Monday, saying they live in "constant fear" of becoming victims of identity theft following news of the company's massive data breach.

Some lawsuits could also target sales by three Equifax executives of almost $1.8 million of stock within a few days of the breach's discovery. Equifax said the three executives "had no knowledge that an intrusion had occurred at the time they sold their shares".

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