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Data Breaches of 2015 — The Top 10 Worst IT Hacks of the Year – IT Support Los Angeles
Data Breaches of 2015 -- The Top 10 Worst IT Hacks of the Year
Did you know the average total cost of a data breach is up over the past two years, increasing by 23%? That's total $3.79 million.
Premera Blue Cross – January. The first of three major healthcare breaches to make the list, this example was believed to be triggered by a phishing scheme that infected victims with malware. As a result, 11 million customers were implicated.
Anthem – February. One-third of Americans suffered when 80 million customer and 19 million rejected customer records were breached, marking the largest instance of compromised medical records in a healthcare network. The health insurance hack, largely achievable due to poor encryption, revealed identity-stealing data such as social security numbers, birth dates and addresses, and remained undetected for nine months.
IRS – May. After exploiting the tax records of nearly 330,000 taxpayers, the IRS scammers made approximately $50 million filing fraudulent tax returns. Eventually, the volume of requests sent prompted the IRS IT department to probe for what they mistakenly believed to be a DdoS attack.
Office of Personal Management – June. Achieved using stolen credentials to install a malware backdoor in the network, the larger of these two breaches is unique in that data was seemingly gathered for intelligence, not a payout. Nearly 22 million current and former federal employees had their highly personal data from background investigation applications stolen, and 5.6 million fingerprint records were compromised.
LastPass – June. Online password managers like LastPass are supposed to help users to store their multiple, hard-to-crack passwords, but this summer breach endangered users who had weak, easy-to-decrypt master passwords. In response, the company advised all to change these main passwords and enabled two-factor authentication as an additional security measure.
Ashley Madison – July. The secret is out. Due to a bad MD5 hash execution, extramarital affairs were the talk of the nation when 37 million site users had their email addresses, addresses, profile descriptions, financial records and other sensitive data exposed and offered as a BitTorrent download.
Carphone Warehouse – August. The U.K. also had its fair share of data breaches, like that of Carphone Warehouse, considered the biggest data breach of the year there. Four percent of the country's population – 2.4 million customers – had personal data stolen, and hackers of the company's multiple e-commerce sites walked away with the encrypted credit card data of roughly 90,000.
Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield – September. In this third and final big healthcare breach of 2015, hackers penetrated the health insurer's information technology systems, dating all the way back to December 2013. As a result, 10 million members became the potential victims of identity theft and fraud.
Experian & T-Mobile – October. When the credit agency suffered a breach of one of its servers, about 15 million T-Mobile users who had undergone credit checks had their sensitive data stolen. This example of a phone carrier sharing customer information with a third party serves to remind companies to implement strict security measures when partnering with outside firms.
VTech – November. This breach makes the list for being the first one to ever target children. Nearly 5 million parent accounts and 6 million child profiles were left vulnerable when this cyber-attack hit the Learning Lodge app store and Kid Connect servers, exposing personally identifiable information like names, passwords, IP addresses and children's birth dates.
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