Equifax says 100,000 Canadians affected by breach

Equifax says 100,000 Canadians affected by breach
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Equifax’s Canada division has revealed that as many as 100,000 Canadian consumers may have had their personal information compromised by hackers in a massive security breach that the credit reporting firm disclosed earlier this month. 

Equifax revealed the breach on Sept. 7, saying that hackers gained unauthorized access to Social Security numbers, birth dates and other personal information belonging to as many as 143 million Americans. Thousands also had their credit card numbers compromised. 

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While the company initially said that some customers in the U.K. and Canada were affected, Equifax released more definitive information on Tuesday. The company said an investigation has indicated that roughly 100,000 Canadian consumers may have had their personal information accessed — including their names, addresses, Social Insurance Numbers and some credit card numbers.

“We apologize to Canadian consumers who have been impacted by this incident,” Equifax Canada president and general manager Lisa Nelson said in a statement. 

“We understand it has also been frustrating that Equifax Canada has been unable to provide clarity on who was impacted until the investigation is complete. Our focus now is on providing impacted consumers with the support they need.”

The number of Canadian consumers swept up in the breach is significantly less than those affected in the U.S.

The credit bureau has come under intense scrutiny from U.S. lawmakers since publicly acknowledging the breach over a week ago.

On Tuesday, the Massachusetts attorney general moved to sue Equifax, alleging that the company ignored cyber vulnerabilities that allowed hackers to access consumers' personal information. 

Bloomberg reported Monday that the Justice Department has launched an investigation into stock sales made by top executives at the company before the breach became public.

The FBI is also said to be investigating the breach. On Monday, the U.S. attorney’s office in Atlanta told The Hill that it was assisting the bureau in its criminal investigation into the breach and “resulting theft of personal information.” 

Equifax, headquartered in Atlanta, is one of the three major credit reporting firms in the U.S. 

Equifax Canada said that it's working in “close coordination” with the American headquarters and an independent cybersecurity firm to conduct an ongoing investigation into the breach.