The Worst Data Breaches of 2015

 
 
By Karen A. Frenkel  |  Posted 01-05-2016 Email
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Previous
    The Worst Data Breaches of 2015
    Next

    The Worst Data Breaches of 2015

    Nearly 20 million personal records were compromised by cyber-attacks in 2015, and cyber-criminals are increasingly targeting health-care companies.
  • Previous
    Anthem
    Next

    Anthem

    The Anthem data breach is the largest health-care data breach ever and began in early 2015. Consequences: 78.8 million highly sensitive patient records breached. 8.8 to 18.8 million non-patient records breached. Exposed information: names, birth dates, Social Security numbers, addresses and employment data.
  • Previous
    Excellus BlueCross BlueShield
    Next

    Excellus BlueCross BlueShield

    Excellus' IT systems were hacked in December 2013, but the company announced the breach in 2015. It was the third-largest health care breach in 2015. Consequences: 10 million members' personal identification information was compromised. Exposed information: names, birth dates, Social Security numbers, member identification numbers, financial account information and claims information.
  • Previous
    Premera BlueCross
    Next

    Premera BlueCross

    The attack on Premera occurred in May 2014, but was discovered on Jan. 29, 2015. Consequences: 11 million members were affected. Exposed information: personal information, names, birth dates, Social Security numbers, member identification numbers and bank account information.
  • Previous
    VTech
    Next

    VTech

    This data breach is the first to directly target children. An unauthorized party accessed customer data through the Learning Lodge app store and Kid Connect servers on Nov. 14. Consequences: 6.4 million children and 4.9 million parents' accounts worldwide were compromised. Exposed information: names, passwords, IP addresses, download history, and children's genders and birth dates.
  • Previous
    Experian/T-Mobile
    Next

    Experian/T-Mobile

    Experian North America announced a breached server in one of its business units. Consequences: 15 million T-Mobile customers were affected. Exposed information: names, birth dates, addresses and Socials Security numbers and/or an alternative form of ID, such as driver's license numbers.
  • Previous
    Why the Experian/T-Mobile Breach Occurred
    Next

    Why the Experian/T-Mobile Breach Occurred

    The breach occurred partly because T-Mobile shared customer information with Experian to process required credit checks for service or device financing. This underscores that when customers share information with a business, their personal data is not always kept private.
  • Previous
    Federal Office of Personnel Management
    Next

    Federal Office of Personnel Management

    An attack on the Federal Office of Personnel Management (OPM) exposed highly personal information resulting from background investigation applications. Consequences: 21.5 million citizen records compromised. This included 19.7 million individuals who applied for security clearance, 1.8 million relatives and other government personnel associates, and 3.6 million current and former government employees. 5.6 million fingerprint records were stolen.
  • Previous
    Ashley Madison
    Next

    Ashley Madison

    Ashley Madison, which caters to people who are already in relationships but still want to date, was not only hacked but blackmailed. The Impact Team claimed credit for the Ashley Madison database breach. Consequences: 37 million users' financial records and personal information exposed.
  • Previous
    Ashley Madison ‘Full Delete’ Was Misleading
    Next

    Ashley Madison ‘Full Delete’ Was Misleading

    The Impact Team said Ashley Madison did not scrub personally identifiable information of customers who opted to have their profile and history deleted, but instead retained payment information and purchase details. The Impact Team demanded that Ashley Madison permanently delete its forums. When it refused to do so, the Impact Team released customer records.
 

Data breaches in 2015 weren’t kind to organizations that found themselves on the wrong end of a breach: 193.4 million personal records were compromised last year, and 5 million of those were compromised by the top seven breaches, according to a new study. The study revealed that cyber-criminals are increasingly targeting the medical and health-care fields, which store valuable patient data that, once compromised, can't be reissued like a credit card, according to Angela Griffin, vice president of Security Practice at 10Fold, the technology public relations company that conducted the study. The following health-care hacks included assaults on: Anthem, CareFirst, Excellus, Premera (all BlueCross BlueShield companies), and UCLA Healthcare Systems. Griffin added that examining the top breaches revealed patterns, while also offering a glimpse into what to expect in the future. 10Fold analyzed 720 data breaches that occurred throughout 2015 and highlighted seven of the largest by reviewing third-party resources such as ID Theft Resource Center and Information is Beautiful. Here are some highlights found in the seven largest breaches.

 
 
 
 
 
Karen A. Frenkel writes about technology and innovation and lives in New York City.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...