Such is the case with Equifax, one of the three largest credit bureaus in the United States.
On Thursday, the company announced that a data breach might have affected 143 million people—nearly two-thirds of the U.S.’s adult population. Hackers also accessed data for residents of Canada and the United Kingdom.
Though Equifax announced the news on Thursday, the company first learned of its data breach more than a month earlier, on July 29. In its press release, it wrote:
Most of the consumer information accessed includes names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and in some instances, driver’s license numbers. In addition, credit card numbers for approximately 209,000 consumers and certain dispute documents, which included personal identifying information, for approximately 182,000 consumers were accessed. In addition to this site, Equifax will send direct mail notices to consumers whose credit card numbers or dispute documents with personal identifying information were impacted. We have found no evidence of unauthorized access to Equifax’s core consumer or commercial credit reporting databases.
It also tweeted the news with a link to its press release: