10 Greatest Data Breaches In Internet History

Data breaches accident is escalating at an alarming rate in recent years. There have been dozens of data breaches which have affected millions of people from all over the world.

6 years ago
10 Greatest Data Breaches In Internet History


Data breach is stealing, changing, utilizing, accessing unauthorized, sensitive and confidential data by hackers; as many business and firms nowadays are totally dependent on cloud computing and digital data. Thus these breaches are wide spreading in the whole world. Businessman thinks of having workforce mobility but they do not pay attention to attacks and breaches which can take place. As a result, it becomes easy for the hacker to breach confidential data stored on local machines, on enterprise databases or on cloud servers.

A lot of data breaches have taken place in recent times. In order to protect confidential data, many laws and regulations such as PCI data security standard and HIPAA were introduced in the Cybersecurity Laws. These regulations provide companies with a framework to store, safeguard and protect the data from breaching. According to statistics, it has been observed that biggest data breaches happened beyond 2005.

Here is the list of greatest data breaches which occurred in the internet history are:

1) Yahoo

Source = Wordpress

One of the famous internet giant company, Yahoo faced the biggest data breach in 2013 which has compromised the confidential information of near about 1 billion users. Company’s security officer Bob lord confirmed about the breach in his post. Since then the news flooded in the whole world in few seconds. The compromised data might include real name, password, email id, telephone number, addresses, and security question answers.

In 2014, Yahoo again faced data breach affecting more than 500 million user accounts. Although, the bank account details, card numbers were not compromised in the breach only personal details were accessed by the hackers. Both the attacks were huge, and they raised many questions for the security concerns to answer.

2) Linkedin

Source = Identityforce

Linkedin data breach accident happened in 2012. It is the world’s topmost professional business site. It declared about the breach soon after it was in action. About 165 million users were affected by this breach. Although Linkedin did not disclose the actual number in front of the public and media. Apparently, linkedin lost 160 million users credentials making it one of the worst breaches in the economic world.

3) TJX Companies. Inc

Source = Usnews

A group of attackers took advantage of the weak data encryption system and stole the credit cards of millions of people during the wireless transfer between the two stores in Miami Fla. It was one of the biggest theft of the consumer data in the United States. It was discovered in the year 2007. At Least 45.5 million credit and debit cards were stolen in the period of 18 months. it also includes the personal details of the customers.

4) Anthem

Source = Trbimg

One of the largest breaches in the healthcare industry took place in February 2015 affecting the data of 78.8 million current and former users. The data compromised during the breach include name, address, date of birth, social security number and employment histories of current and former customers.

All these information were enough for any to steal the identity. Although in 2016 anthem claimed that the hacked data was not utilized by the hackers or shared or sold or was used fraudulently. The attack began a year before it was announced when an employee clicked on the phishing email. Apparently, the total cost of the breach is not known still people estimate it to be around 100 million.

5) Ebay

Source = Bbci

Data breach accident happened in May 2014 in which 145 million users data were compromised. It revealed that the data exposed includes the name, encrypted passwords, email id and date of birth. The further company added that hackers used the credentials of three corporates who had complete access to their accounts for 299 days by which they made an inside into company’s database. CEO of the company said that the breach resulted in the decline of company’s customers but it did not affect much on the bottom line.

6) FriendFinder

Source = Amazonaws

Adult Friend Finder was attacked in mid-October 2016. Twenty years of data were retrieved by the hackers from six databases which include email id’s, passwords and addresses.  As most of the passwords were secured by SHA-1 algorithm thus it became easy for the attackers to access 99% of them. This is an adult dating and entertainment company. Approximately its 412 million accounts data were exposed out of the cybercrime forums.

7) Heartland Payment Systems

Source = Rackcdn

In 2009, the company announced the largest data breach ever to affect an American company. This breach exposed the details of credit and debit cards of nearly 130 million people to cybercriminals. Data breach had a huge impact on the company. Hackers planted malware which helped them to retrieve the card details which came from the retailers. Albert Gonzalez, the mastermind behind breach was sentenced prison for 20 years in 2010.

8) Target Stores

Source = Luxreview

In 2013, the company announced that hackers have infected the payment card readers which helped in accessing the information on the credit and debit cards of approximately 40 million customers of the store in the United States. The largest retail giant target store was not able to identify the breach for several weeks. The breach began in a surge of thanksgiving by the hackers. It affected 110 million customers. The breach resulted in the resign of CIO and CEO of the store.

9) JP Morgan Chase

Source = Financialtribune

Hackers hijacked one of the servers of JPMorgan Chase which helped them to access the bank details of millions of people, they used these accounts in fraud schemes and were able to make $100 million. It affected both large and small scale businessmen. The breach took place in July 2014. It includes the credentials of 76 million people.

10) Sony PlayStation Network

Source = Futurecdn

One of the worst online gaming community breaches happened on 20th April 2011 affecting 77 million accounts out of which 12 million user accounts credit card information was not encrypted. Hackers gained full access to customers credentials including name, email, addresses, credit card numbers, purchase history, and passwords. All this information resulted in the loss of $171 million as the website was down for one month. Thus be cautious before you give your personal data to anyone.

These were some of the Data Breaches accidents which have occurred in the digitalized world. We do not have any idea when these cyber disaster will end. So all we can do is that we can take preventive measures to keep away organization and ourselves from data breaches.


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