Equifax says breach exposed personal data of 143 million Americans

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ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) — Credit monitoring company Equifax says a data breach exposed personal data from 143 million Americans.

The company discovered the breach on July 29, and the exposed data consists of birth dates, credit card numbers, social security numbers and more. Given the population of the United States was calculated at 324 million at the start of 2017, the breach affects nearly half of the country.

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Equifax said in a release nearly 210,000 credit card numbers were obtained along with driver's license numbers and home addresses. Hackers reportedly exploited a security vulnerability in a website application to gain access to Equifax's private data. The company said it has begun reaching out to affected customers through mail and is working with state and federal authorities.

Equifax, along with Trans Union and Experian, is one of the three nationwide credit reporting companies that tracks the financial history of American consumers and scores their credit.

The companies have financial data on nearly every aspect of their consumers' lives. In response to the breach, the company is offering a year of TrustedID Premier for free to all customers.

The company's stock fell five percent in after hours trading.

To find out if you were impacted by the hack, click here.Copyright 2017 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved

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