U.S. charges four Chinese military members over Equifax hack

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The Department of Justice announced charges Monday against four members of China’s People’s Liberation Army for hacking into Equifax Inc., according to Attorney General William Barr.

Equifax announced in September 2017 that hackers accessed data including Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers and addresses, a breach that impacted more than 140 million people.

Hackers gained access to the Equifax’s network in May 2017 and attacked the company for 76 days, according to a House Oversight Committee report. Equifax noticed “red flags” in late July, and then in early August contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation, outside counsel and cybersecurity firm Mandiant. The company waited until September to inform the public of the breach.

Hackers stole at least 147 million names and dates of birth, nearly 146 million Social Security numbers, and 209,000 payment card numbers and expiration dates, the FTC said.

The breach attracted scrutiny from lawmakers in Washington and criticism from consumers and banks, igniting a debate about the role credit bureaus play in lending.

Bloomberg News
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