Equifax data breach affects 143 million Americans

Credit-monitoring company Equifax announced last Thursday that the company experienced a data breach, leaving the personal data of more than 143 million Americans at risk.

The hackers responsible for the breach gained access to the data through Equifax’s external facing website. The cyber attack was exposed in May, but the company didn’t find out until June.

Exposed data includes social security numbers, birth dates, addresses, driver license numbers and credit history, says ASU Global Security Initiative professor Jamie Winterton.

“If this data was encrypted, then the damages would have been a lot less than they are,” said Winterton. “The FTC is taking this very seriously, whats next for the consumer is to keep an eye out on your credit.”

Sponsor message:

In this segment:

Jamie Winterton: Director of Strategy, ASU Global Security Initiative

Sponsor message:

Sign up to receive the Arizona PBS Insider

Get up-to-the-minute information about your favorite programs and learn more about Arizona PBS news and events.

Vera 'Telling Tales'

Based on the bestselling Inspector Stanhope novels by Ann Cleeves, the unorthodox but brilliant DCI Vera Stanhope and her team are drawn into four compelling cases that only she can solve.

Vera "The Ghost Position"

In this episode, Vera's reunion with her first sergeant occurs under tragic circumstances when his house is petrol-bombed. The investigation forces her to face old memories.

NOVA “Forgotten Genius”

NOVA presents the remarkable life story of Percy Julian — not only one of the great African-American scientists of the 20th century, but an industrialist, self-made millionaire, humanitarian and civil rights pioneer.