On Monday, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Justice Department is indicting four members of the Chinese military for engineering the 2017 cyberattack on Equifax that exposed 147 million U.S. consumers’ personal information.
In a press conference today, Attorney General William Barr and FBI Deputy Director David Bowditch announced the nine-count indictment to the public. Bowditch declared the Equifax breach to be “the largest theft of sensitive PII by state-sponsored hackers ever recorded,” and thanked Equifax for its cooperation in the investigation.
The breach, one of the most severe cyberattacks in history, resulted in millions of people freezing their credit scores for fear hackers could sell their social security numbers and other unalterable identifying information and secure lines of credit in their name, and a gigantic class action lawsuit against Equifax for failing to secure the information. The identify of the hackers and the way the data were used has been a massive mystery for the past few years.