Equifax learned of a major breach of its computer systems in March—five months before the date it says millions of consumers’ personal and financial data was exposed, Bloomberg News reports. Citing three sources familiar with the situation, the report said the March cyberattack was thought to have involved the same culprits behind the more recent breach, even though the company has said the two attacks were not related. The company hired a security firm in both cases and may have thought the first breach was under control when it learned of the second one, two sources cited in the report said. The credit-reporting agency disclosed this month that some 143 million U.S. consumers were affected by a data breach between mid-May and late July. News of the prior breach comes as federal prosecutors announced they are working with the FBI to investigate the incident. The actions taken by Equifax executives in response to the breaches are also expected to face scrutiny by federal prosecutors, The New York Times reported.
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