Over 400,000 Brits could have had their private data stolen following yet another big hack.
US firm Equifax thinks a file full of UK customers’ names, phone numbers, email addresses and so on ‘may potentially have been accessed’ during the cyber breach of its systems in July.
Luckily, if you can call it that, the credit monitoring company says that the file didn’t contain things like passwords and addresses – so although it’s not ideal it could have been worse.
Equifax has claimed that it is unlikely that people will have their identities taken over as a result of the hack – but dictionary fans may recall that ‘unlikely’ doesn’t mean ‘certainly won’t’.
Patricio Remon, Equifax’s president, has apologised for the fiasco, as well he might, and said: ‘Our immediate focus is to support those affected by this incident and to ensure we make all of the necessary improvements and investments to strengthen our security and processes.’
Desperate as it is to soothe its customers and prevent its business collapsing, Equifax might have had greater success fostering trust if had been honest from the start – rather than having to be ordered by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) to tell people what had happened. Remember, this breach happened back in July.
The ICO said: ‘The Information Commissioner’s Office have been pressing the firm to establish the scale of any impact on UK citizens and have also been engaging with relevant US and UK agencies about the nature of the data breach.’
Equifax has said that it’s continuing to investigate the breach, as one would hope, and that it’s working with both the ICO and the Financial Conduct Authority, happily and without compulsion no doubt.