I came across an article recently from The Huffington Post that I thought was worth sharing. It lays out the nine largest data breaches on record. The article was originally written by Lorenzo Ligato and was first published in the wake of last year’s breach of AshleyMadison.com. There have been plenty of big data breaches since this article was published – some so big that the list of 9 ought to be amended. Using statistics from aggregate site informationisbeautiful.net, here are the true “9 Biggest Data Breaches of All Time.”
9. TJX/TJ Maxx/Marshalls (2003-07)
You thought the recent Target debacle was bad? Hackers got into the wifi network at a T.J. Maxx store in Minnesota and got hold of at least 45.7 million credit card numbers over 11 months of purchases in 2003. Furthermore, it is believed that the perpetrators, at one point, had access to 94 million records.
8. VK (2016)
Just this past June, VK (Russia’s own answer to Facebook) saw data from 100.5 million user accounts pilfered and put up for sale. A spokesman for VK claimed that all the data was old and no longer in use.
7. LinkedIn (2012)
Details about this 2012 breach have only just surfaced this year. Hackers gained access to 117 million LinkedIn account passwords. Since many folks reuse their login credentials for multiple online accounts, it is possible that up to 117 million LinkedIn users could also have their email and bank accounts at risk. Always remember to update your passwords and to use “two-step verification” if offered!
6. Heartland (2008)
Heartland is a company that authorizes credit card transactions before the information is passed along to providers such as Visa, MasterCard and Discover. In 2008, information on 130 million credit card transactions was leaked. It affected customers of all the major credit card companies.
5. eBay (2014)
Hackers attacked eBay using login credentials obtained from, what was originally, a “small number of employees,” according to the company. They used those credentials to log into a database compiling the profiles of all eBay users. The attackers then copied a large portion of that data, estimated to affect 145 million users.
4. Massive American Business Hack (2005 – 2012)
For roughly eight years, one hacking ring targeted the NASDAQ and companies such as 7-Eleven, JetBlue, and JC Penny. In that time, they made off with more than 160 million credit and debit card numbers. Approximately 800,o00 bank accounts were targeted.
3. U.S. Voter Database (2015)
A database containing the names, addresses, birth dates, party affiliations, phone numbers and emails of American voters saw 191 million records leaked. The leak came as a result of incorrect configuration of the database. The owner of the database has yet to be identified.
2. Court Ventures (2011)
A Vietnamese identity theft service was sold 200 million personal records by Court Ventures, a company owned by data brokerage firm Experian. The records included Social Security numbers, credit card data, and bank account information.
1. MySpace (2016)
In May, a hacker claimed to have access to roughly 360 million email and password combinations from users of MySpace, one of the very first social networking sites. The hacker tried to sell the information and said that, of the 360 million, only approximately 111 million had usernames attached to them.