Business’ data is compromised every day however, some data breaches leak more sensitive information and affect more people than others. With Equifax dominating headlines this past fall, everyone has been more cautious and aware of data security. U.S. Business Systems did some research and came up with the following list of the biggest data breaches of the 21st century so far. This list is not only based on the amount of people affected, but the sensitivity of the data compromised.
Biggest Data Breaches of 21st Century
- Yahoo (2013) Yahoo is the victim of the biggest data breach in history to date, affecting 3 billion people. Hackers compromised names, birth dates, emails, passwords, and even security questions.
- Adult Friend Finder (2016) Hackers accessed 20 years worth of names, email addresses, and passwords through a weak protection the company had in place for its users’ passwords.
- eBay (2014) Hackers used corporate employees’ credentials to access the company’s data base and steal the names, addresses, birth dates, and passwords of every one of its 145 million users.
- Equifax (2017) Everyone should be familiar with the recent data breach at Equifax. Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and drivers licenses were exposed for 143 million people, as well as credit card information for 209,000 people.
- Heartland Payment Systems (2008) Spyware installed on data systems exposed information for 134 million credit cards for mostly small- and mid- sized businesses across the country.
- Target Stores (2013) The infamous Target data breach affected 110 million customers. Again, the attack happened through the point-of-sale systems, and gave out contact information for a huge portion of the number affected, and credit card information for the remainder affected.
- TJX Companies, Inc. (2006) It’s still up for debate whether hackers gained access to information through in-store kiosks or during a transfer of funds between two stores, but either way, 94 million credit cards numbers were exposed.
- JP Morgan Chase (2014) It’s estimated that almost half of US households fell victim to a data breach of the largest bank in the US. Hackers received names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses and additional customer information on 76 million households and 7 million businesses.
- US Office of Personnel Management (2012) Hackers from China went undetected in this data breach for almost two years. Hackers gained access from a third-party contractor and received security clearance information and fingerprint data from 22 million current and former federal employees.
- Sony’s PlayStation Network (2011) 77 million people were affected by Sony’s data breach in 2011, with hackers gaining access to names, usernames, passwords, emails, addresses, purchase histories and credit card numbers. This is the worst data breach in the gaming community to date.
- Anthem (2015) Hackers hit a goldmine with the breach of Anthem, gaining access to the names, addresses, Social Security numbers, birth dates, and employment histories of 79 million people. A person’s identity can be stolen with this information alone.
- RSA Security (2011) Hackers posed as trusted sources in an email attack, also referred to as phishing attacks, to gain access to an estimated 40 million employee records.
- Stuxnet (2010) While not a lot of information was stolen during this breach, it’s on the list of worst data breaches this century because it damaged Iran’s nuclear program.
- VeriSign (2010) VeriSign remained secretive about the data breach, saying that only a small portion of computers and servers were accessed by hackers.
- Home Depot (2014) Malware infected point-of-sale systems that comprised credit card information and emails of 56 million customers.
- Adobe (2013) Hackers accessed usernames, passwords, and credit card information for 38 million users.