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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — PA state Attorney General Josh Shapiro says the credit rating agency Equifax may have delayed longer than first reported in disclosing a massive data breach affecting 5.4 million Pennsylvanians.
“When this first came out we learned that it was roughly six weeks between the data breach timing and then ultimately when the public was notified,” Shapiro told KDKA money editor Jon Delano on Wednesday. “But we’re getting more and more information that suggests it wasn’t just six weeks. It may have been prior to that.”
“That’s why we hit Equifax today with a subpoena,” Shapiro told KDKA-TV.
The subpoena, says Shapiro, will get at exactly when the data breach occurred.
“That’s really important, not just about protecting people’s information, but about what type of claims we might ultimately have as we go after Equifax here,” he said.
The longer the breach went unreported the greater the time thieves had to misuse that information.
“How long was that data compromised? Who could have potentially gained access to it, and who could go out and potentially harm a Pennsylvanian by having access to their social security number and other personal information?” Shapiro asked.
Shapiro said law enforcement does not know yet who did the breach at Equifax that affected three-quarter of adult Pennsylvanians.
“We’re working through that, and, Jon, we will get to the bottom of this — both who breached that information, what types of lax policies existed at Equifax, and we will change corporate behavior and get everyone to up their game,” declared the Attorney General.
Unless you are securing financing now or in the near future, the Attorney General recommends asking Equifax to freeze your credit account.
And then, he added, “Most importantly, just look out for suspicious activity. If you think that you’ve been the victim of identity theft or someone is trying to scam you or use your personal information for wrong purposes, let us know right away in the Attorney General’s office.”