The Equifax Attack Yielded More Than Personal Information to Hackers

Many Americans were shocked and disappointed to find that their personal data had been exposed to criminals in a recent breach of computer systems owned by the credit reporting agency Equifax. With nearly one hundred and fifty million borrowers affected, the attack clearly ranks as the largest and most damaging of its kind ever.

On the other hand, there has been less talk about the more than two hundred thousand others whose credit card data was obtained during the hack. With these individuals having been further victimized because of personally doing business with Equifax by using one of its paid services, questions about the damage to be expected have naturally arisen.

Credit Card Issuers Already Account for Fraud on a Daily Basis

One source of hope for many is the fact that legal protections ensure Americans will not be held accountable for fraud committed using such information. While the associated regulations do allow for up to fifty dollars to be charged to those who negligently allow their credit card details to fall into the wrong hands, even that minor caveat will not be an issue here.

Although it can be unpleasant to contemplate a person’s credit card information falling into the hands of others, the reality is that this already happens all the time. Criminals have in recent years regularly attacked and broken into databases containing millions of card numbers and details each and have been avidly seeking to make the most lucrative possible use of the information.

At least partly because they can sometimes end up footing the bill, credit card issuers have become extremely adept at spotting and thwarting such illicit activities. Using sophisticated systems that leverage the latest in machine learning technology, they now do a surprisingly thorough job of preventing credit card fraud of the most common kinds.

One Less Reason to Worry

While it might seem as if the few whose credit card details were stolen in the hack would have the most to lose, the situation is therefore actually quite a bit rosier than that. Even if plenty of those two hundred thousand-plus Americans will have to face a bit more inconvenience as their credit cards are replaced, they will be unlikely to suffer any additional financial damage at all.