Data Breaches Total 4.2B Records: Report

Friday, January 27, 2017 @ 04:01 PM gHale


Of all the countries in the world, the United States was the top target of hack attacks last year, a new report said.

Last year there were 4,149 data breaches that resulted in the exposure of 4.2 billion records. Of the breaches that exposed user data, 47.5 percent came from the United States, according to the report from Risk Based Security. In addition, 68.2 percent of breached records belonged to U.S. citizens.

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Since the U.S. seems more visible and transparent when it comes to reporting breaches, this could be why it tops the list.

The number of incidents impacting access credentials declined last year compared to 2015. For instance, in 2015, nearly 50 percent of data breaches exposed passwords. By comparison, 38.1 percent of the 2016 data breaches affected passwords.

Having said that, in 2015, the number of passwords that ended up impacted was of 151 million, but in 2016 the number ballooned to 3.2 billion. This means that while the percentage of data breaches affecting passwords in 2016 was smaller, the hacks themselves affected quite a few more people.

Quite a few of the data breaches ended up conducted by direct hacking – 2,213 – exposing a total number of 3.9 billion records. This means on average, each breach affected 1.7 million records. Incidents affecting FriendFinder Networks, Myspace and Yahoo, all classified as hacking incidents, accounted for more than 2.2 billion records.

While the U.S. is tops, the United Kingdom, Canada, Brazil, India, Australia, Russia, Italy, France, and Syria follow when it comes to the number of attacks. Nearly 3 billion of the exposed records came from the United States, with Russia following with 260 million records and Mexico with 93 million.

Click here to download the report.



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