One of the largest security breaches ever has come to light today as Equifax revealed attackers used an exploit on its website to access records for 143 million US citizens (for reference, the US has a population for 323 million or so, that's about 44 percent). The oldest of the three major US credit bureaus, it maintains information on over 800 million people for credit and insurance reports, which is also a juicy target for anyone trying to steal data. Equifax says the breach lasted from mid-May through July 29th when it was detected.
The criminals had access to information that could allow them to create or take over accounts for many of the people impacted since they have names, addresses, birth dates, social security numbers and "in some cases" drivers license numbers. An unspecified number of UK and Canadian residents were hit, plus the credit card numbers for 209,000 people and certain dispute documents for 182,000 people in the US.