If this leading theory is right, the only people who needed to worry about the Equifax breach were people in sensitive government positions or with lots of access, influence and power: future senators, overseas CIA officers, people who oversee U.S. corporate data centers or senior financial executives of technology companies, for instance.
The fevered advertisements that urged consumers to check whether their data had been compromised and take numerous steps to freeze it and monitor it turns out to have been unnecessary for this breach — at least so far.
Still, Farshchi said credit freezes and monitoring services are still the best way to determine whether personal data has been stolen or your identity misused. Experts outside Equifax have long agreed.
As for Jeffrey, he said he and many of his contemporaries will continue hunting for the data, probably on their own time. About once a week, he says, he gets up early with a cup of coffee and sets his sights on his usual dark web haunts with Equifax in mind.
Knowing that an intelligence agency probably has the data, he said he’s also reading the news more often. He looks for stories about bribery, graft, spies being caught or politicians suddenly spouting rhetoric in defense of hostile nations where they hadn’t before.
“I think I’m going to be watching some news feed some day a decade from now and see that some politician is trying to do some crazy deal with some country we supposedly don’t like,” he wrote via secured text message. “And I’m really going to wonder: am I finally looking at the Equifax data after all this time?”