Equifax says it will notify 2.4 million whose licenses were hacked

Equifax has identified about 2.4 million Americans whose driver’s license numbers were stolen during last year’s massive data breach and has announced plans to inform them during the next few months.

The embattled Atlanta-based company said the hackers did not get access to those consumers' names, addresses and Social Security numbers or even dates of issuance and expiration, only "partial" information.

However, investigators hired by Equifax have been able to put names on the numbers.

“This is not about newly discovered stolen data,” said Paulino do Rego Barros, Jr., the company’s interim chief executive officer in a statement Thursday. “It’s about sifting through the previously identified stolen data, analyzing other information in our databases that was not taken by the attackers, and making connections that enabled us to identify additional individuals.”

The letters to consumers will be sent via the U.S. Postal Service, not email.

They will include offers of identity theft protection and credit file monitoring services at no cost, and provide information about registering for that help, the company said.

“We continue to take broad measures to identify, inform, and protect consumers who may have been affected by this cyberattack,” said Barros, in the statement. “We are committed to regaining the trust of consumers, improving transparency, and enhancing security across our network.”

Late Thursday, state Attorney General Chris Carr released a statement affirming what he said is “a leadership role in the investigation” of the Equifax data breach.

“Our primary responsibility continues to be to protect the consumers of Georgia, millions of whom, through no fault of their own, have had their personal information compromised,” he said, in the statement. “There have been many developments during the course of this investigation, and our office will continue to monitor and work to keep Georgia's consumers up-to-date on relevant information.”

It was reported in October that hackers accessed data for 10.9 million driver's licenses. The people affected by that were part of the 145.5 million who also had Social Security numbers hacked, the company said.

The hacking of the 2.4 million license numbers announced Thursday was part of that same massive data breach, but these were people not included in that 145.5 million: their Social Security numbers were not accessed, according to the company said.

Equifax was hardly a household name before September, since its main business is stockpiling data on consumers for companies. But then the company revealed that personal information of more than 145 million Americans on its computers had been accessed or stolen.

Since then, the company has faced Congressional hearings and public condemnation, as well as some speculation that the breach could eventually damage the economy.


AJC Business reporter Michael E. Kanell keeps you updated on the latest news about jobs, housing and consumer issues in metro Atlanta and beyond. You'll find more on myAJC.com, including these stories:

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