- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Equifax is being asked to explain how it intends to safeguard the sensitive information of more than a million U.S. servicemembers affected by its recently disclosed data breach.

Sen. Joe Donnelly, Indiana Democrat, and Sen. Dean Heller, Nevada Republican, wrote the nation’s largest credit reporting agency Tuesday.

“We are particularly concerned about the roughly 1.3 million active-duty U.S. military personnel, especially the nearly 200,000 currently stationed overseas, who may lack the access and resources required to place a credit freeze on their files or take other necessary measures to adequately protect their personal information. This could leave members of our military especially vulnerable to identity theft and financial fraud in the days, months and years ahead,” the lawmakers said in a letter addressed to Equifax CEO Richard Smith.

“We request that you immediately detail the specific actions Equifax will take to ensure our servicemembers are not victimized any further by thieves with access to personal information such as Social Security numbers, dates of birth and home addresses,” their letter said. “Our servicemembers and millions of Americans are now at risk, and it is incumbent on you to minimize the damage and remedy this wrong.”

Equifax did not immediately comment on the letter, which requests a response by Oct. 6 – almost one month to the day after the company initially disclosed the data breach.

Equifax said on Sept. 7 that “cybersecurity incident” detected months earlier had allowed criminals to steal personal information pertaining to approximately 143 million Americans, including the credit card numbers of about 200,000 victims. The breach is currently being examined by the Federal Trade Commission, Department of Justice, attorneys general from several states and lawmakers in multiple congressional panels, including the Senate and House Financial Committees.

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