The damage done by a breach is exponential and has the ability to impact millions of individuals lives. Companies can no longer choose to be ignorant to the fact that they could very well be the next victim of a data breach. Security is continuously evolving and staying up to date with the latest threats that could impact your organization could put you one step ahead of the bad guys. As we enter the New Year, it’s important to reflect on what cyber threats posed serious damage to both consumers and companies alike in 2015. This article with delve into the Top 5 Worst Data Breaches of 2015
5. VTech Breach – 11.6 Million
In late November, the educational toy maker manufacturer, VTech Holdings, announced that 11.6 million accounts were compromised in a cyber-attack that hit them on November 24. What makes this particular breach different from the rest is that children are involved. In fact, over 6.4 million of the individuals affected by this breach are children, leaking their personal names, genders and their birth dates. Of the 11.6 million account affected, 4.8 million belong to parents with the leaked information including: names, email addresses, passwords, security questions and password retrieval, IP addresses, mailing addresses and download history. Unencrypted call logs from VTech’s messaging service, Kid Connect, as well as encrypted audio files are believes to have been compromised as well, but this investigation is still ongoing.
4. T-Mobile & Experian Breach- 15 Million
In September, Experian, one of the biggest data collectors in the world, announced its server had been hacked, affecting over 15 million T-Mobile customers. T-Mobile customers who applied for Experian credit checks between September 1, 2013 and September 16, 2015 are among the customers affected by this breach. Experian realized in late September that an unauthorized party was accessing T-Mobile data housed in a server, including information like: names, addresses, social security numbers, birthdates, passport numbers, and additional information used in T-Mobile’s credit assessment. While both Experian and T-Mobile insist that no credit card or banking information was compromised during this breach, the information compromised can still be used to commit identity fraud.
3. Office of Personnel Management Breach – 21.5 Million
In June of 2015, OPM discovered that the background investigation records of millions of current, former and prospective federal employees and contractors were compromised during a cyber-attack. Sensitive information like social security numbers of 21.5 million individuals was stolen from the background investigation database, 19.7 million of which applied for background investigations and 1.8 million non-applicants, primarily spouses or co-habitants of the affected applicants. Usernames and passwords used by the applicants for background investigation forms were also stolen, as well as 5.6 million fingerprints.
Stay tuned for the #1 and #2 Worst Data Breach of 2015!