Equifax has confirmed that it is investigating a security breach affecting 143 million people, and that it was the work of a third-party.
“I hope that I am not alone in my fear and worry,” Equifax Chief Information Security Officer Scott Schulz said in a statement on Wednesday.
“While we are aware of the reported breach, we are still investigating and will take appropriate actions to protect our customers.”
It said it was working with law enforcement and other regulatory authorities to determine the scope and nature of the breach.
“This incident affects 143 million Americans and impacts more than 100 million other people in the US,” Schulz added.
“We will work closely with our regulatory and law enforcement partners to investigate and respond appropriately.”
Mr Schulz, who joined Equifax in January, is the second person to be placed on leave following a breach affecting over 100 million people.
In June, Mr Schultz stepped down amid reports that he had lied to federal investigators and to shareholders about his knowledge of a security flaw.
He also faced questions over the extent of his knowledge about the Equifax breach.
The breach is the latest to hit Equifax, which is under pressure to tighten up its security controls amid mounting pressure from investors to cut costs amid a steep drop in its market value.