Equifax Data Breach 2017, the Worst Hack in Cyber Security History!
On the 7th of September, one of USA’s main credit monitoring companies, suffered the worst Customer Data Breach in history, according to Clark Howard, and is already dubbed the Equifax Data Breach 2017. Even if your account is with Transunion, Experian or Innovis, you still need to take safety steps. I will show you the exact steps you need to take to lessen your chances of being affected. 143 million Americans (143 million snatched social security numbers), just under half the population of the U.S., are affected. Since all these companies communicate to each other, your chances are 50/50 (at best), that your ‘file‘ is safe. Equifax has put their own customers in a situation where they are now prone to being scammed online.
With family members included this ‘hack‘ is affecting over half of the population of America. An Avalanche scams are on the way. Please share this valuable data with others. Thank you.
Here is what you will get from this article.
- What happened and how it happened.
- A list of all, possibly, your data that could be residing in the Dark Web waiting to be sold on.
- Equifax deplorable and laughable response to their panicked customers, including, back lash.
- Specifically, the steps you need to take to protect yourself.
The Equifax Data Breach 2017 Explained.
As you may know, hackers cracked open Equrfax’s security, and gained access to a wealth of customer data. These cyber criminals spotted a vulnerability and exploited it to the hilt. The affected Credit Monitoring Company, Equifax, would not comment on which ‘vulnerability‘ let the criminals in. Here is a list of what the cyber hackers obtained:-
- Social Security Numbers.
- Credit Card Data.
- Birthday dates..
- In some unfortunate instances, Drivers License Numbers were acquired as well.
As you know that is more than enough information to impersonate anyone online for fraudulent purposes.
Deplorable and Laughable Security Data Breach Response.
Soon after the worst data breach known to mankind occurred, Equifax put on their thinking caps, and responded in the following way. They sent their customers to ‘their‘ website to take security measures on their account. Low and behold, those customers were sent to a PHISHING SITE! (?). I gasped at this – the absurdity is beyond my reckoning.
Some reports suggest that Mr Tweeting, a spokesperson for the affected credit monitory entity, looking for the company’s website, unbeknownst to himself, found the scam site version of it instead. Thinking this was his company’s main site, he left the link on twitter, as far as my research shows, three times in several weeks.
The company said that this was, and I paraphrase, an exercise in educating their customers about phishing sites.
Hold on. These guys just got hacked and now they want to show others how to protect themselves. Ironic, no? Imagine if I changed all the locks on all the doors in your house just to have them fall off the next day, you ring me, and I tell you I will fix them but for a fee? Would you agree or run though dictionary hunting for every curse word? Tell me what you think of this response in the comments section as I would be profoundly interested in what you think in this matter. Personally I think they have, by their own failure, negated their position to be so arrogant and have ‘shot’ their credibility so much, it is breath taking, to see this confusing response.
The Second Fatal Response Mistake.
Those who finally made it to the right website, after Mr Tweeting apologized about sending out the wrong link (for ‘reason’ stated), were asked to fill out a form and click a button. This told customers if their file was safe or affected by the data breach. They were then disastrously directed to a page offering security protection for one year for a fee.
I just took a deep breath, I REALLY did. If I could write what I wanted to about these guys in a less than civilized manner, I would not be able to post this article. Truth.
How can this response not be perceived as Equifax spinning this disaster into a money maker? A disaster by their own incompetence. The company said they would suspend this fee for thirty days. OK, a bit better, but still, it is hardly saving face and reassuring for customers.
Mass Customer Data Theft, Steps You Need to Take.
It is my tremendous hope that the following steps will help you lessen, or, avoid any future scams. The advice as been sourced else where. I will give attribution to these sources accordingly. Before we begin, www.securityequifax.com is not the site to go to. This was the ‘educating’ link. Be aware there are multiple sites impersonating this company right now.
- Please go to https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/.
- A form will ask for the last six digits of your Social Security Number.
- They will ask for your Surname. Input both, tick captcha, and click go/submit. They will then offer the aforementioned protection service by them for a fee for one year, free for 30 days. See image below.
- You will be informed, right there and then, if you file is safe or stolen.
- If safe, I am glad. You don’t need to read any further and I would love to hear from you in the comments section.
- If not, please continue on with the following steps.
- Contact either Equifax, Transunion, Experian or Innovis credit monitoring companies to set up a Free Credit Report Fraud Alert. This will last for 90 days, after which, you can set it up again. Only inform one and they will inform the others. Anyone tries to make a purchase or withdrawal in your name you will be notified.
- This step is CRUCIAL. Contact anyone (not all – just one) of these agencies and ask for a Credit Freeze. This will help you sleep a lot easier. If someone tries to get credit in your name they are immediately STOPPED!
The last step above is highly recommended by Top Industry Professionals! The only problem that comes with this last step is not even YOU can get any credit in your name. It is OK though, you can change that. You will have to contact All the credit agencies listed here to ‘unfreeze‘ your credit. Further precautions to take are:-
3. View your card statements monthly, some sites recommend you view them weekly, to look out for any suspicious transactions in your name. If so contact your bank immediately.
4. Watch out for phishing emails and smishing text messages, the later, is the evolution of the first and more well-known online scam.
Above tips were sourced at https://www.google.ie/url?sa=t…. Thank you to CBS This Morning News Channel.
The following tips were garnered from the above URL in the comments section. There are things to be aware of while using this companies service.
You can not sue Equifax if you use their protection service. According to YouTuber, ‘JS’, you MUST inform all the of the companies who will then charge you $10 for freezing your credit. After 30 days this amount will be $40! This will protect your credit but not prevent crooks getting a *passport, *drivers license, gaining entry to your *bank account, so on and so forth, in your name. It is the same fee to unfreeze your account with all these coompanies!!
4. If a Facebook Friend tries to add you on a second account they may have, be careful. PM your friend ask him/her if they have a second account and did they just Friend Request you. If not, screen shot the invite. See if you go to this fake profile, screen shot what is visible, report it to Facebook. Post screen shots to your status to warn others on your friends list and ask them to share it. This is a recent scam alert sent out by BBB. Watch out for fake profiles on every social media account you have also.
EXCELLENT TIP! Add an additional password to your Social Security Number.
It has to be said that not even all these measures ensures complete safety. I recommend you take a look at my Number 1 Anti Virus Review Recommendation of Panda Security. Best scores in ‘Real World Test Situations‘ – Globally and Annually.
It is now ‘Open-Season‘ on over HALF of Americas Citizens by being potential victims of scams. I imagine there is a ‘feeding-frenzy‘ down below in the Dark Web for those stolen details. Expect an increase of phishing emails to your inbox. Invest in an Anti Virus, it does not have to be my recommendation, just get protected! I can only hope I have not been too harsh on the Equifax Data Breach 2017 or not harsh enough. I will let you decide and invite you to tell me what you think on that issue in the comment box below. 143 million American lives (including family members) turned up side down through zero fault on their part. My heart goes out to you all. I predict 2017/2018 will set the highest records of financial scams in history, tilting Americas economy, landing taxpayers the bill (of course), potentially denting the Global economy. How many more times do we have to suffer crashes?