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SPECIAL REPORT | INCIDENT UPDATE – In early September 2017, Equifax Ltd.’s US parent company announced it had been the victim of a criminal cyberattack. Although UK systems were not breached, the attack compromised the personal information of some UK consumers.
A file containing 15.2m UK records dating from between 2011 and 2016 was attacked in this incident. As well as featuring some information about actual consumers, this file also contained duplicates and data for testing purposes. Equifax has used all available resources to identify the actual consumers impacted and their current home address. After a period of time-consuming and technically difficult analysis, Equifax was able to piece together information which allowed it to place these consumers into specific risk categories.
On 10th October 2017, Equifax Ltd. announced that it would be writing to 693,665 UK consumers whose information was included in the files that were attacked. This process has now been completed and we encourage anyone who has received a letter from us to call the Freephone number 0800 587 1584.
These consumers were categorised into four risk groups; (1) consumers who had an email address associated with their equifax.co.uk account accessed, (2) consumers who had portions of their equifax.co.uk membership details accessed – such as username, password, secret questions and answers and partial credit card details, (3) consumers who had their driving licence number accessed and (4) consumers who had their phone number accessed.
Everyone in categories 1-3 will also receive a follow-up letter during this time. We encourage consumers in category 4 who have received a letter but have not yet been in touch to contact us on our Freephone number 0800 587 1584.
In addition, we have now taken the decision to write to a further 167,431 UK consumers from this file whose landline telephone numbers are already published in the public Phone Book but were accessed as part of the cyberattack. These letters will be issued by the end of January.
We are offering this group the same free ID protection services as outlined in the initial consumer letters. In addition, our Freephone number, 0800 587 1584, will remain open to help consumers access these safeguards quickly and simply. So that they can further protect their personal information, the letter they receive will also provide details of how they can delist their telephone number from the Phone Book, should they wish.
Also See: How To Protect Yourself