Equifax first learned of the breach in late July, but announced the issue affecting as many as 143 million people on Thursday evening.
In revealing this 21st century catastrophe, the credit reporting service set up a website so users could quickly assess if their information had been made vulnerable.
Users, however, were asked to enter the kind of information they’re often warned not to reveal online, in this case a combination of their last name and the last six digits of their Social Security number.
The request was met with skepticism, as many already shaken consumers felt unsafe giving up crucial identity data to a company that just admitted being penetrated.
A spokeswoman for Equifax said the men “had no knowledge that an intrusion had occurred at the time.” After news of the hack broke, the company’s shares fell 13 percent and “Equifax” became the number one trending topic on Twitter.
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