Almost 700000 United Kingdom nationals affected by Equifax breach: company

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Of the 15.2 million hacked records, around 14.5 million contained limited personal information of clients, restricted to customers' names and dates of birth.

Hackers could have accessed these customers' email addresses, personal details, driving licence numbers or partial credit card information.

State officials said although there are some "free" ways of freezing credit, most services come with either a monthly charge to include credit monitoring or indicate within terms and conditions upon signing up the that free freeze service is conditional upon consumers' information being shared with affiliates and third-party marketers.

Last month, US credit rating agency Equifax revealed that it had suffered a major data breach that compromised details of millions of customers, including credit card details of over 209,000 citizens.

The company said sensitive information of these British consumers was involved, according to a Reuters report.

Equifax first disclosed the breach on September 7, revealing that hackers exploited a vulnerability in a USA website application.

Following the colossal breach, both the CIO and the CSO resigned, and in the days following this, the CEO also stepped down due to the poor handling of the situation.

Once again, Equifax's Europe chief Patricio Remon has apologised for the cyber attack: "It has been regrettable that we have not been able to contact consumers who may have been impacted until now, but it would not have been appropriate for us to do so until the full facts of this complex attack were known, and the full forensics investigation was completed", he said.

Equifax said that it had not yet started notifying the affected United Kingdom consumers because it did not think it was "appropriate" as it was waiting until "the full forensics investigation was completed".

Equifax is one of the big three credit reference agencies in Britain, along with rivals Experian Plc and TransUnion.

The story of cyber disaster for Equifax began before the major summertime breach, with the company admitting to another incident earlier this year.

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