Excerpt from a loss prevention median article 8-20-2019
The first six months of 2019 have seen enough data breaches to affect at least a few billion people. The leaked data includes influencers’ phone numbers, security audit logs, student records, banking data, medical records, and much more.
Here are the five largest data breaches and leaks of the first six months of the year 2019:
- Collections #1-5 (approx. 3 billion accounts)
- Collection #1 appeared on the dark web in January. It is said to contain addresses and passwords from over 2,000 previous data breaches, which includes the emails and passwords of 770 million people. It appeared on the cloud service MEGA and was available for download via torrent magnet links. Collection #1 contained over 12,000 files and “weighs” more than 87 gigabytes.
- A few weeks later, a megaleak titled Collections #2-5 containing approximately 25 billion unique records and roughly 2.2 billion unique usernames and passwords, most of the stolen data come from earlier thefts, like the breaches of Yahoo, LinkedIn, and Dropbox. Same as with the first batch of data, most of it came from years-old leaks.
- Cloud Service Leak (2.3 billion files)
- At the end of May, researchers from the Photon Research Team at Digital Shadows discovered that 2.3 billion files were accessible online due to configuration errors. The data was public across data-sharing and cloud services, online storage services, and companies’ servers. These files included medical scans, credit card details, payroll files, intellectual property patents, and at least 11 million photographs, many of which were considered private images. They went public on a Japanese photo-sharing platform called Theta360. Fortunately, the company reacted quickly and sealed the leak over the next 24 hours.
- Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram (2.1 billion users)
- This list would not be complete without Facebook and its companies. They are responsible for a whopping 2.1 billion users’ data getting breached or leaked. An Israeli government surveillance agency called the NSO Group designed the spyware. It could turn on a device’s microphone and camera, gain access to emails and messages, and collect location data.
- Internet of Things: Orvibo (2 billion records)
- The most recent breach on the list happened at the beginning of July. Noam Rotem and Ran Locar, researchers from vpnMentor, discovered that a user database belonging to a Chinese company called Orvibo, was left openly accessible online. Orbivo runs an Internet of Things management platform. Its database contained over 2 billion logs, including, among other things, users’ passwords, email addresses, geolocation details, and, most disturbingly, reset codes. They could be used to reset passwords and email addresses leaving the users locked out of their accounts forever.
- Breaches and Collections by Gnosticplayers (over 1 billion accounts)
- A hacker called Gnosticplayers has been putting batches of hacked data on a darknet website called Dream Market since mid-February. He stole 1.071 billion credentials from 45 companies by the end of May, a goal he was aiming for.
- The hacker requested varying sums of bitcoin in exchange for the stolen info and promoted the data in the mass media. He claimed that his two main goals are money and the “downfall of American pigs.” Dishonorable Mention:
- Medical and Financial Institutions
- In June, nearly 12 million patients were exposed in a Quest Diagnostics data breach.
- The next day, LabCorp disclosed that the same hack also impacted 7.7 million of their customers.
- American Medical Collection Agency’s security breach was by far the worst. It exposed personal and financial information of over 20 million people.
- Unfortunately, a lot of financial institutions also suffered from similar attacks. Just a few examples:
- In June, data on 2.7 million individuals and 173,000 businesses was stolen by an employee of Canada’s largest credit union, Desjardins. Names, social insurance numbers, age, addresses, emails, and phone numbers were compromised.
Hackers infiltrated Chile’s ATM interbank network, Redbanc, after tricking an employee into downloading a malicious program.
In February UK-based Metro Bank became the first major bank to suffer from a new type of cyber intrusion that intercepts text messages with two-factor authentication codes.
WHAT IT MEANS TO DIGITAL PRIVACY
THESE BREACHES AND LEAKS ARE MORE DANGEROUS THAN THEY MIGHT SEEM AT FIRST. THE FREQUENT CYBER-ATTACKS