A consumer credit reporting agency, Equifax, said Thursday that hackers gained access to the personal information of 143 million Americans, roughly 45 percent of the country. The breach reportedly includes Social Security numbers, names, birth dates, home addresses, and driver's license numbers, according to CNBC. Additionally, Equifax said that the hackers obtained 209,000 credit card numbers and "certain dispute documents with personal identifying information for approximately 182,000 U.S. consumers."
According to Equifax, the breach occurred when "criminals exploited a U.S. website application vulnerability to gain access to certain files." The company discovered the data breach in late July, although their first public discussion of it only arrived this week. It said it was in the process of alerting affected customers, and had already begun a private investigation into the hack.