What are some of the largest data breaches in history?

It is more important than ever to secure and protect your critical files and sensitive data. It is surprising to see how many companies regularly make simple mistakes that result in expensive breaches and loss of data. This is often due to common assumptions that can have a significant impact on your organization’s security. Many of those assumptions can leave a company vulnerable and result in a breach. Those breaches occur on a near regular basis. Looking back at some of the largest data breaches in history can help you identify your own vulnerabilities. This will help you prevent history from repeating itself with your company.  

Adobe – October 2013 

This hack impacted 153 million user records. Adobe originally reported that hackers had stolen nearly 3 million encrypted customer credit card records, plus login data for an undetermined number of user accounts. But later that month, Adobe raised that estimate to include IDs and encrypted passwords for 38 million “active users.” Weeks of research showed that the hack had also exposed customer names, IDs, passwords, and debit and credit card information. 

Adult Friend Finder – October 2016 

This hack affected 412.2 million accounts. This breach was particularly sensitive for account holders because of the services the site offered. The breach resulted in stolen data spanned 20 years on six databases and included names, email addresses, and passwords. 

Canva – May 2019 

Just last year 137 million user accounts were affected by the hack of this Australian graphic design tool website. The attack exposed email addresses, usernames, names, cities of residence, and salted and hashed with crypt passwords (for users not using social logins — around 61 million) of 137 million users. Canva says the hackers managed to view, but not steal, files with a partial credit card and payment data.  

The suspected culprit(s) — known as Gnosticplayers — contacted ZDNet to boast about the incident, saying that Canva had detected their attack and closed their data breach server. The attacker also claimed to have gained OAuth login tokens for users who signed in via Google. The company confirmed the incident and subsequently notified users, prompted them to change passwords, and reset OAuth tokens. However, according to a later post by Canva, a list of approximately 4 million Canva accounts containing stolen user passwords was later decrypted and shared online, leading the company to invalidate unchanged passwords and notify users with unencrypted passwords in the list. 

eBay – May 2014 

In May of 2014, 145 million users were subject to data exposure. eBay reported that an attack exposed its entire account list of 145 million users in May 2014, including names, addresses, dates of birth, and encrypted passwords. The online auction giant said hackers used the credentials of three corporate employees to access their network. They had complete access for 229 days—more than enough time to compromise the user database. The company asked customers to change their passwords. Financial information such as credit card numbers was not compromised. eBay received criticism at the time for a lack of communication with its users and poor implementation of the password-renewal process. 

Equifax – July 2017 

Of course, it’s impossible to list major hacks without calling out the Equifax hack of 2017. Equifax, one of the largest credit bureaus in the US, said on Sept. 7, 2017, that an application vulnerability in one of their websites led to a data breach that exposed about 147.9 million consumers. The breach was discovered on July 29, but the company says that it likely started in mid-May. The breach compromised the personal information of 143 million consumers. 209,000 consumers also had their credit card data exposed. Personal information shared included Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and in some cases drivers’ license numbers. That number was raised to 147.9 million in October 2017. 

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