Equifax share price plunges 16 per cent as US markets open

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Equifax shares plummeted in after hours trading yesterday evening (Source: Getty)

Shares in Equifax plunged 16 per cent as US markets opened after revelations the credit report behemoth had been hit by a massive cyber breach. 

Information from about 143m US customers has been compromised, with some UK and Canadian customers also affected.

Equifax admitted hackers had obtained social security details as well as dates of birth and addresses.

The company revealed details of the breach after the bell, sending shares flying in after-hours trades. The firm's shares fell as much as 19 per cent in unofficial trading.

Read more: Massive hack at Equifax exposes personal data of Brits and 143m Americans

The Atlanta-based firm said it discovered the breach in late July. Criminals took advantage of a weakness in a US website application and accessed data.

Equifax said it was working with law enforcement agencies, while the FBI is tracking the situation, a spokesperson told Reuters.

Cyber-security experts have been drafted in to investigate the breach and their analysis is “substantially complete” and will be concluded within weeks.

Equifax chief executive Richard Smith said the incident "strikes at the heart of who we are and what we do".

He said: "I apologise to consumers and our business customers for the concern and frustration this causes.

"We pride ourselves on being a leader in managing and protecting data, and we are conducting a thorough review of our overall security operations."

Read more: UK’s largest debt placement firm TDX sold to Equifax for £200m

Tags: US markets