Equifax says it will notify 2.4 million whose licenses were hacked


Equifax has identified about 2.4 million Americans whose driver’s license numbers were stolen during last year’s massive data breach and has announced plans to inform them during the next few months.

The embattled Atlanta-based company said the hackers did not get access to those consumers’ names, addresses and Social Security numbers or even dates of issuance and expiration, only “partial” information.

However, investigators hired by Equifax have been able to put names on the numbers.

“This is not about newly discovered stolen data,” said Paulino do Rego Barros, Jr., the company’s interim chief executive officer in a statement Thursday. “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.”

The letters to consumers will be sent via the U.S. Postal Service, not email.

They will include offers of identity theft protection and credit file monitoring services at no cost, and provide information about registering for that help, the company said.

“We continue to take broad measures to identify, inform, and protect consumers who may have been affected by this cyberattack,” said Barros, in the statement. “We are committed to regaining the trust of consumers, improving transparency, and enhancing security across our network.”

Late Thursday, state Attorney General Chris Carr released a statement affirming what he said is “a leadership role in the investigation” of the Equifax data breach. 

“Our primary responsibility continues to be to protect the consumers of Georgia, millions of whom, through no fault of their own, have had their personal information compromised,” he said, in the statement. “There have been many developments during the course of this investigation, and our office will continue to monitor and work to keep Georgia's consumers up-to-date on relevant information.”

It was reported in October that hackers accessed data for 10.9 million driver’s licenses. The people affected by that were part of the 145.5 million who also had Social Security numbers hacked, the company said.

The hacking of the 2.4 million license numbers announced Thursday was part of that same massive data breach, but these were people not included in that 145.5 million: their Social Security numbers were not accessed, according to the company said.

Equifax was hardly a household name before September, since its main business is stockpiling data on consumers for companies. But then the company revealed that personal information of more than 145 million Americans on its computers had been accessed or stolen.

Since then, the company has faced Congressional hearings and public condemnation, as well as some speculation that the breach could eventually damage the economy.


MYAJC.COM: REAL JOURNALISM. REAL LOCAL IMPACT.

AJC Business reporter Michael E. Kanell keeps you updated on the latest news about jobs, housing and consumer issues in metro Atlanta and beyond. You'll find more on myAJC.com, including these stories:

 

Never miss a minute of what's happening in local business news. Subscribe to myAJC.com. 



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Business

Atlanta-based Interface in $420 million purchase of German company
Atlanta-based Interface in $420 million purchase of German company

Atlanta-based Interface has made a $420 million deal to buy a German company that is a leader in the global flooring market. Interfact is acquiring Nora Systems, a move that the company said should dramatically expand its market reach to new categories. The two companies are more “complementary” than competitive, said Jay Gould, the chief...
Home sales sag, but prices up 9.9 percent from last year
Home sales sag, but prices up 9.9 percent from last year

Metro Atlanta home prices are up 9.9 percent from a year ago, even as the number of sales has slipped. The strong rise in prices is a sign of the continued imbalance in housing, with demand continuing to out-pace supply. The median price of a home sold in May was $248,445, compared to $226,000 during the same month a year ago, according to a report...
Tapped-out demand for beer partly blamed for layoffs
Tapped-out demand for beer partly blamed for layoffs

A global manufacturer of glass has confirmed plans to close its Atlanta facility next month, laying off about 270 people, most of them hourly workers. Owens-Illinois, Inc., which is based in Ohio, will shutter the Sylvan Road facility around July 18, according to a spokeswoman at the $6.9 billion-a-year company. The decision to close the Atlanta plant...
Talk rising of possible recession, trade key danger for Atlanta
Talk rising of possible recession, trade key danger for Atlanta

Tom Smith watches each Sunday morning for signs of recession at Panera Bread. It’s telling: The size of the crowd, the attitude of the families – are they enjoying the chance to relax and spend a little money on themselves, the way people do when they have a few dollars extra, or are they anxious about keeping their jobs and paying their...
Kempner: Disappearing public companies? Federal regulator concerned
Kempner: Disappearing public companies? Federal regulator concerned

Where did half our nation’s public companies go? If you’ve got a hankering to invest your life savings, it might look as if you have plenty of options, some good and some unnerving. There are stocks, bonds, real estate, gold, and even some cryptocurrency markets that concern regulators. But the number of publicly traded companies has dropped...
More Stories