Credit reporting agency Equifax has admitted that nearly 700,000 UK customers may have had their sensitive information stolen in the massive cyber attack it disclosed last month — including credit-card, passwords and driving licence information.
In total, 15.2 million client records in Britain were compromised in the attack. However, Equifax said 14.5 million of the records breached did not contain information that put consumers at risk.
“Once again, I would like to extend my most sincere apologies to anyone who has been concerned about or impacted by this criminal act,” said Patricio Remon, Equifax’s president for Europe. “Let me take this opportunity to emphasize that protecting the data of our consumers and clients is always our top priority.”
The incident, which took place in May 2017, affected almost 150 million people worldwide. Records dating from between 2011 and 2016 were attacking, including Social Security numbers, birth dates and addresses. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the driver’s license numbers of around 10.9 million Americans were also exposed in the hack.
This is the latest in a string of high-profile hacks. Earlier this week, the Guardian reported that the attack on global accounting firm Deloitte last month compromised a server with emails of some 350 clients, including U.S. government agencies and large corporations.
The Guardian says it has been given the names of more than 30 blue-chip businesses whose data was vulnerable to attack. This includes four global banks, three airlines, two multinational car manufacturers, energy giants and big pharmaceutical companies. They also listed Fifa, mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the US Postal Service and several state departments.
Deloitte has disputed the story, saying "very few" clients were affected" in a statement emailed to Reuters.
"We take any attack on our systems very seriously," the statement said. "We are confident that we know what information was targeted and what the hacker actually did.
In a recent report on the global cybersecurity market in 2017, analysts forecast the market to be worth USD 236 billion by 2022. It says the advent of digital technologies for the collection, storage, analysis and distribution of information has created a world of insecurity, which resulted in new opportunities in the global cyber security market.
According to the research, “companies have invested more than USD 75 billion in cyber security in the past one year, with a further investment of around USD 450 billion on recovering from cyber-attacks. Heavy reliance on IT infrastructure and lack of contingency and mitigation cyber policies at the place are major drawbacks for this market.”
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