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Equifax raises estimate of people hit by breach

Equifax raises estimate of people hit by breach
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Equifax says 2.5 million more Americans than originally believed have been affected by the record-breaking cyber attack on the firm.

The new additions bring the total of affected Americans to 145.5 million. Names, Social Security numbers, birthdates and other information were all compromised in the breach.

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"I want to apologize again to all impacted consumers," Equifax’s newly appointed interim CEO Paulino do Rego Barros Jr. said in a statement on Monday.

"As this important phase of our work is now completed, we continue to take numerous steps to review and enhance our cybersecurity practices," he said. "We also continue to work closely with our internal team and outside advisors to implement and accelerate long-term security improvements.”

Equifax revealed in September that it had suffered a cybersecurity breach in July in which the data of close to half all Americans was stolen. Lawmakers and critics immediately questioned the company’s cyber practices, noting that Equifax had been hacked before in March.

The company’s reputation continued to spiral when politicians found that Equifax was charging individuals to find out if they had been affected by the breach and its tool to do so was faulty. Equifax suffered another self-inflicted blow when it was revealed that Equifax executives unloaded almost $2 million worth of company stock right after the breach in July.

The Department of Justice is currently investigating the executives over potential insider trading. Equifax maintains that the executives were not aware of the breach at the time.

Former CEO Richard Smith is set to testify on Capitol Hill this week where multiple Senate and House committees will hold hearings on the breach. Lawmakers, who have been highly critical of Equifax, are expected to grill Smith.