It’s being called one of the biggest data hacks in history, and now the Equifax breach is spreading around the world.
After the Atlanta-based credit-rating organization admitted that the Social Security, credit-card and driver’s license numbers of up to 143 million American consumers were hacked from its computer systems over a two-month period last summer, the company’s affiliates on two other continents have also seen their data compromised.
“This is now an international problem with untold exposure that could impact hundreds of jurisdictions,” said Isaac Boltansky, a Washington-based policy analyst and vice president of Compass Point Research and Trading.
Hackers had access to the names, dates of birth and e-mail addresses of nearly 400,000 people in the United Kingdom, said Equifax’s British subsidiary in a statement last week.
In Canada, sensitive data belonging to 10,000 consumers may have been hacked in the breach, said a statement from the Canadian Automobile Association.
In Argentina, one of the company’s portals was so easily accessible that it allowed quick exposure to the personal information of more than 14,000 people.
Security was so lax, according to blogger Brian Krebs, employees could access the personal data of thousands of Argentine consumers by typing in “admin” as a login and a password.
In New York, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has announced that his office will probe the massive security breach, which he said affects some 8 million New Yorkers.
At least eight class-action lawsuits against Equifax have been filed in New York state, according to public documents.