Equifax Data Breach Forces Visa and MasterCard to Flag at Least 200,000 Payment Cards

Fintechist Equifax Breach Payment Cards

The financial sector got a rude wake-up call last week. Equifax announced customer details were leaked. While most of the information revolves around SSNs and other personal information, it appears credit cars were exposed as well. According to Visa and Mastercard, over 200,000 cards are flagged so far. The total tally can still go up by quite a margin, mind you. Considering how the exact time of the data breach remains unknown, it is too early to estimate the damage.

To put this into perspective, it is unclear when Equifax was breached exactly. According to Visa, it is somewhere Between November 2016 and July 2017. That is quite a long period, which is pretty interesting. Equifax claims no payment information was leaked prior to May 2017. It is evident this information doesn’t match entirely. For now, most people are inclined to respect Visa’s timeline rather than the one provided by the hacked institution.

Equifax Needs to be Punished Properly

Hackers successfully obtained card information necessary for online purchases. It is unclear how much money has been stolen through this method, though. Equifax only admitted to this data breach late last week. It is incomprehensible why companies do not disclose this information sooner. With around 143 million US customers affected, this is a major heist, to say the least. It is equally possible over a million cards will get flagged, if not more.

No one will be surprised Equifax won’t be getting many Christmas cards this year. The backlash through social media is rather massive, which is only normal. It is evident the company did not take cyber security seriously. Otherwise, this breach would not have taken place, to begin with. It also appears some UK customers are affected by the breach. No financial data should be at stake where these users are concerned, though.

For the time being, it is unclear how this situation will unfold. Equifax is not on people’s good graces right now, for obvious reasons. This situation will not improve either, as things can only get worse from here on out. Research shows the hack is the result of one employee portal not being sufficiently protected. Default logic credentials give anyone access to this information. An absolute disgrace for which Equifax should be punished severely.

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