Equifax blames breach on a server flaw it should've patched

Credit reporting company Equifax Inc. corporate offices are

Credit reporting company Equifax Inc. corporate offices are

The credit reporting bureau admitted earlier this week they were compromised between May and June and didn't noticed the breach until the end of July. However, the Equifax hack is arguably the worst because it involves Social Security numbers as well as information that can be used to steal the identities of more than 140 million people.

Thursday's disclosure strongly suggests that Equifax failed to update its Web applications, despite demonstrable proof the bug gave real-world attackers an easy way to take control of sensitive sites. Any legal recourse. Experts said there is plenty you can do to stay safe, but legally, you might have to wait.

"This is going to have a long term effect", said James Azar, founder of Alpharetta's CyberHub USA, a company that works with businesses and consumers to protect against cyber-attacks.

Lauck said you might not get much out of suing individually.

"It's very scary", one consumer said. A security freeze prevents credit, loans and services from being approved in your name until you unfreeze your account. Otherwise, expect to pay $2 to $12 to initiate or temporarily lift a freeze at each credit bureau: Equifax, Experian, TransUnion, and Innovis.

-Place a credit freeze on your file, which generally stops all access to your credit report.

But a credit freeze is problematic for people who need to keep their credit report open as they need to secure a loan, perhaps buy a home or a vehicle.

That way no one can buy anything on credit or open a new line of credit. Do you know someone else we should interview for this story?

Considering that a whopping 143 million Americans - more than half of adults over the age of 18 - are impacted, everyone should go to the Equifax emergency website, EquifaxSecurity2017.com, to determine if information has been compromised. The company said last week that it is offering free identity-theft protection and credit-monitoring to USA consumers.

The Federal Trace Commission has been tracking credit scams, hacks and breaches since 1914 and created a video on exactly what victims of identity theft should do.

Equifax has also come under intense scrutiny following the disclosure with nearly 40 USA states joining an investigation into the breach along with the United States Congress. Lawmakers have also demanded more information from the company regarding the scope, timeline and circumstances surrounding the hack.

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