Hackers have become so sophisticated that nearly 4 billion records have been stolen from people in the last decade alone. Here are the 10 biggest data breaches of the 2010s.
- The past decade has seen an explosion in the number of people entrusting massive tech companies with their personal data. There has also been a rise in large-scale data breaches and hacks.
- Of the 15 largest data breaches in history, 10 took place in the past decade. The two largest data exposures of all time happened in 2019.
- Organizations that fell victim to the attacks include Facebook, Target, Equifax, Adobe, and more.
- Data violations have only become more frequent in the past decade, according to a recent study.
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With a few months left in the decade, it's safe to say that the 2010s were the worst decade on record for hacks and data breaches.
Of the 15 largest data breaches in history, 10 took place in the past decade. Each involved the theft of tens or hundreds of millions of records - such as login credentials, financial information, or personal data - adding up to nearly 4 billion records stolen in total over the past 10 years.
The number of data violations like hacks and breaches is steadily trending upwards, according to a recent study by the cybersecurity firm Kastle Systems.
Lawmakers and the private sector have both been relatively slow to adapt to the rising threat of cyber attacks, but the federal government has started taking new action this year. The Department of Defense released a new draft of cybersecurity standards in August, and plans to publish a finalized set of standards in January.
Here are the 10 most serious data breaches in the US from the past decade, ranked by the number of records seized by hackers.
10. Target was subject to a data breach in 2013 that exposed 40 million credit and debit card accounts.
9. A 2017 data breach targeted Equifax, impacting as many as 143 million users.
8. A 2014 cyber attack on eBay stole login credentials of up to 145 million users.
7. An Under Armour data breach affected 150 million users of the store's mobile app in 2018.
6. As many as 152 million records were stolen from Adobe in a 2013 data breach.
5. A group of Eastern European hackers stole over 160 million records from companies ranging from Nasdaq to 7-Eleven before being stopped by authorities in 2013.
4. A 2016 data breach compromised more than 412 million accounts from a network of adult-oriented networking sites.
3. Hackers broke into Marriott's reservation system in 2018, accessing 500 million guests' private information.
2. More than 540 million Facebook users' data was up for grabs on unprotected servers until April 2019.
1. 885 million sensitive financial records were left exposed by First American on public servers where anyone could access them until May 2019.
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