It’s turned into one of the biggest digital nightmares. You wake up any given day to an email from a company you trust: Your data might have been compromised. They don’t know the extent of the recent data breach yet, and they assure you they are doing everything they can to secure your information. So go ahead and change your password. And while you attempt to go on with your day, you can’t help but hope that your name doesn’t end up in a scandalous list of people that were not supposed to be signed up on that website. Or worse yet – that your identity isn’t stolen. Because your coffee just tastes better without a side of identity theft, am I right?
We all know there are certain risks every time we exchange confidential information with a vendor. Let’s face it, paying cash for everything life nowadays just isn’t possible. But there are certain recent data breaches that can make even a Wall Street wolf raise an eyebrow. And those guys are used to dealing with scandal.
Some of the data breaches in our list are still fresh wounds that haven’t quite healed. But for the most part, these recent data breaches will live on as cautionary tales that you are always at risk of being exposed – no matter how secure you think your data is.
Top 3 Most Recent Data Breaches List
3. Equifax (2017)
Although there are bigger recent data breaches out there (don’t think we forgot about you MySpace, eBay and LinkedIn), we are giving the bronze medal to Equifax’s 2017 data breach because of the nature of hack – and its consequences.
On September 2017, Equifax, one of the largest credit bureaus in the U.S., announced that personal information of 143 million consumers had been hacked. The data included Social Security Numbers, birth dates, addresses, and in some cases even driver’s license numbers. At least several hundred thousand identities were stolen.
Might be a good time to check your credit report…
2. FriendFinder (2016)
Nothing can be quite as embarrassing as being caught with your digital pants down. And that is exactly what happened when the FriendFinder Network announced that hackers collected 20 years of data including names, email addresses and passwords of more than 412.2 million accounts in 2016. The breach, which included accounts on casual hookup and adult content websites like Adult Friend Finder, Penthouse.com, Cams.com, iCams.com and Stripshow.com, were protected by a weak SHA-1 hashing algorithm. This meant that 99 percent of them had been cracked by the time LeakedSource.com published its analysis of the entire dataset.
Let’s just say a lot of people had some explaining to do.
1. Yahoo (2013 and 2014)
Yahoo tops our data breaches list with not one – but two – recent data breaches.
In 2013, an unidentified source managed to hack into 3 billion Yahoo account (yes, billion – with a b). While the original count of 1 billion wasn’t announced until 2016, the internet giant revised its estimate in October 2017 to admit that all 3 billion of its user accounts had been compromised.
The second data breach, actually announced before the 2013 breach came to light, compromised 500 million users, earning the top stop of recent data breaches by its own merits. Yahoo announced that it was most likely originated by “a state-sponsored actor”. Fingers were pointed at Russia.
Yahoo was smack in the middle of sales negotiations with Verizon – who knocked $350 million off the sales price because of the incidents. The internet giant, which was one time valued at $100 billion, ended up being sold for $4.48 billion.
Can you say ya-ouch?
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