Equifax said it had established a website to enable consumers to determine if they are affected and would be offering free credit monitoring and identity theft protection to customers.
In an unusual move, the Federal Trade Commission confirmed on Thursday that it has opened a probe into the Equifax debacle, which may have compromised the personal information of as many as 143 million Americans.
The Federal Trade Commission has become the latest entity to announce an investigation into the security breach at Equifax.
The program required members to register their personal information such as credit cards, banking information and email address, with the option of providing a social insurance number.
Krebs contacted Equifax about the issue, and the company quickly took the portal offline and launched an investigation. Equifax Canada did not respond to requests from The Canadian Press.
Meanwhile, Canadians who are anxious they might be victims of the Equifax Inc. hack say they are being treated as an afterthought in the wake of one of the largest online data breaches in history. "It is easy to Monday-morning quarterback and say, 'Why didn't you patch?' The pragmatic reality for many organizations is that patching doesn't occur as quickly as one would like".
The disclosure suggests that Equifax may have been slow to take basic steps to secure its most sensitive data, and will likely add to calls for stronger oversight of an industry whose information in the hands of criminals can enable the worst kinds of identity theft and fraud.
The company, which safeguards financial data for consumers applying for credit, said it learned of the breach on July 29 and "acted immediately" with the assistance of an independent cybersecurity firm to assess the impact.
The data collected by the cyber-thieves contained a trove private information including names, birth dates, Social Security numbers, addresses and driver's licenses of consumers.
Maura Healey, the attorney general of MA, said this week she intends to file the first state lawsuit against Equifax over the breach.
In response to consumer challenges, Equifax announced the following updates: adjusting how a PIN is generated for consumers initiating a security freeze solution, ramping up call center support and a more prominently featured link from the Equifax.com website. Since the company is holding off the details of its investigation, security experts believe that the attack possibly happened after the patch was made available since it was then widely distributed and publicized. "I think in 2017, that's unacceptable".