NEW YORK — Equifax Inc. said Thursday that an additional 2.4 million Americans were impacted by last year's data breach, however these newly disclosed consumers had significantly less personal information stolen.
The Atlanta-based credit monitoring company said the additional consumers only had their names and a partial driver's license number stolen by the attackers, unlike the original 145.5 million Americans who had their Social Security numbers impacted. Attackers were unable to get the state where the license was issued, the date of issuance or its expiration date.
In total, roughly 147.9 million people in the United States and smaller numbers in the United Kingdom and Canada have been impacted by Equifax's data breach.
Equifax has had various estimates of how many people in Canada were affected by the U.S. breach. As of January, the estimate was 19,000 Canadians had been affected because of access in a Equifax data base in the United States.
The company said in a statement Thursday that the announcement of the additional Americans impacted by the breach does not increase the number of consumers impacted outside of the U.S.
The Equifax breach is considered the largest leak of personal information in history, although the number of people affected is smaller than other breaches involving less sensitive data.
The company said it found the additional 2.4 million Americans by cross referencing names with partial driver's license numbers using both internal and external data sources.
These Americans were not found in the original breach because Equifax had focused its investigation on those with Social Security numbers impacted. Individuals with stolen Social Security numbers are generally more at risk for identity theft because of how prolific they are used in identity verification.
Equifax said it will reach out to all newly impacted consumers and will provide the same credit monitoring and identity theft protection services they have been offering to the original victims.
Ken Sweet, The Associated Press