U.S. Accuses Chinese in Equifax Hack
CBJ — The U.S. government has identified four high-ranking members of the Chinese military for allegedly hacking into the main network of the Equifax credit reporting agency nearly three years ago.
U.S. Attorney General William Barr and FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich say the four individuals have been charged with stealing the personal information of millions of Americans.
The 2017 breach was one of the largest in history and is believed to have potentially affected as many as 145 million Americans. Hackers would have gained access to names, Social Security numbers and other private personal information that was stored on the databases.
The case comes as the Trump administration has warned against what it sees as the growing political and economic influence of China, and efforts by Beijing to collect data on Americans and steal scientific research and innovation.
“The scale of the theft was staggering,” Attorney General Barr said. “This theft not only caused significant financial damage to Equifax, but invaded the privacy of many millions of Americans, and imposed substantial costs and burdens on them as they have had to take measures to protect against identity theft.”
Equifax, headquartered in Atlanta, maintains a pertinent information on consumers that it sells to businesses looking to verify identities or assess creditworthiness.
It’s believed about 20,000 people in Canada had their accounts compromised.