Well, what can we say about the Equifax data breach that allowed hackers to gain access to the personal information for 143 million Americans? There are hundreds of posts and articles out there (probably thousands) covering the story from every conceivable angle. We will try to sum it all up for you, cover all of the pertinent information and then provide you with some recommendations for doing damage control and protecting yourself from identity theft. We're all in the same boat - my data was compromised, too.
So, what do we know at this point in time?
- The initial breach breach happened in May of this year, and was discovered in late July, but Equifax did not publicly reveal that information for six weeks.
- A few days after the breach was discovered, three Equifax executives sold off almost $2 million dollars worth of their shares in the company, but they supposedly "had not been informed about the data breach, yet" (excuse me if I seem skeptical about that): http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/09/08/549434187/3-equifax-executives-sold-stock-days-after-hack-that-wasnt-disclosed-for-a-month
- There was a patch released back in March for the vulnerability that the hackers used to exploit the web servers at EquiFax, which were initially broken into mid-May, two months later: https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2017/09/14/equifax-identity-theft-hackers-apache-struts/665100001/
- There is a supposed automated way to sue EquiFax for up to $25,000 by using an automated system called Chatbot, but it is not as easy as it sounds: https://www.dailydot.com/layer8/equifax-chatbot-lawsuit/
- There are a number of recommended actions you should take, including a credit freeze and accessing your free annual credit reports: http://www.newson6.com/story/36336760/equifax-breach-what-to-do-if-your-data-was-hacked
There is so much more information coming out about this, but in the end, you should keep a sharp eye on your credit accounts, sign up for EquiFax's free identity protection program if you think your data was compromised, and never, ever trust EquiFax, again - not that you probably ever agreed for them to have your data stored on their servers in the first place.
Sadly, EquiFax will probably never be punished properly for this gross negligence that will disrupt the lives of thousands - if not millions - of American citizens: http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/columnists/reed/ct-equifax-reprieve-robert-reed-0914-biz-20170913-column.html
As always, we will tell everyone to Be Careful Out There, but in cases like this, there really wasn't anything we could have done to protect ourselves.
-The PJ Networks Family