Equifax breach significantly worse than expected as thousands of passwords are leaked

Almost 700,000 UK customers have had their personal data stolen from credit reference agency Equifax, the firm has confirmed.

The number has risen sharply from the 400,000 customers suggested to have been impacted last month.

Equifax said that it will contact all its affected UK customers – who may be at risk of “possible criminal activity” – by letter to offer them help.

Patricio Remon, Equifax’s chief European executive, said: “Once again, I would like to extend my most sincere apologies to anyone who has been concerned about or impacted by this criminal act.”

Around 15 million UK records were impacted altogether – but many just had their names and dates of birth stolen.

However, Equifax has revealed that approximately 637,000 customers have had their phone number stolen, compared to around 29,000 who have had their driver’s license numbers stolen.

A further 15,000 usernames and passwords were leaked it added, as well as 12,000 email addresses.

The company’s chairman and chief executive Richard Smith resigned over the breach in September.

UK customers can phone Equifax for advice on 0800 587 1584.

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