Data Breaches

Report: Equifax Breach Exposed Nearly 11 Million Driver's License Numbers

Written for Symantec

The recent Equifax data breach may have exposed the driver’s license data of 10.9 million U.S. consumers, according to The Wall Street Journal (paywall).

The hackers who accessed the driver’s license information also took Social Security numbers and other personal information of potentially 145.5 million American consumers.

When Equifax initially announced the data breach on Sept. 7, 2017, the credit reporting agency said driver’s license numbers were accessed in “some instances.”

The Journal reports that Equifax has shared the figure of 10.9 million exposed driver’s licenses with financial institutions and other customers.

The Journal further reports that consumers who had provided their driver’s license information to the credit reporting agency were often doing so to verify their identity with Equifax. In some cases, this happened when consumers used a webpage to resolve disputes on their credit reports.

It’s possible for a criminal to use your driver’s license number to impersonate you. This could be done by giving your license number—even without the actual license—to a police officer at a traffic stop or by using your number to manufacture a fraudulent license to use at bars or with employers or police. 

According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, the only piece of information that’s needed in such cases is the license number—not your name, address or other information. But given what was accessed by hackers in the Equifax breach, such information may be easily available to identity thieves, including names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, and addresses.

Read our article on how to determine if you’re affected by the Equifax data breach.

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