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Top 8 Data Breaches and Cyber Attacks

News of massive data breaches has become a regular occurrence. Looking back at the most devastating data breaches and cyber attacks over the past year, the same disturbing patterns emerge – poor security practices, 3rd party vulnerabilities, compromised systems beyond the control of IT, and internal leaks. What used to be the exception now seems more like the rule. The most sensitive data is outrageously exposed by organizations approaching cybersecurity the same way they did a decade ago:

  1.  US Office of Personnel Records (OPM)
    The massive breach of OPM’s system exposed over 21.5 million records of its security background check database. 
    Attack vector: Multiple 3rd party credit monitoring providers including USIS and KeyPoint
    Threat actor: Chinese nationals with suspected government support
    Dwell time: 90 days

  2. Avid Life Media
    The Ashley Maddison online cheating website is hacked less than two months after the Adult Friend Finder breach, exposing 37 million sensitive customer records. While the defacement message claimed responsibility on behalf of the unknown “Impact Group”, ALM believes the attacker had intimate knowledge of the company’s systems. 

  3. Hacking Team 
    Attributed to a coordinated campaign by Anonymous, Hacking Team’s systems were hacked, with a resulting 400 GB data dump exposing confidential emails and financial records

  4. Anthem 
    Attributed to the same Chinese attackers behind the OPM hack, the health care provider that runs both Blue Cross and Blue Shield admitted its systems were breached – exposing 78.8 customer records. 

  5. Home Depot
    Discovered on the hacking forum Rescator on which the attackers attempted to sell the retailer’s data, Home Depot admitted over 56 million credit card accounts and 53 million email addresses were exposed. 
    Dwell time: 150 days

  6. Target
    Considered to be the largest and most sophisticated breach of a retailer, Target’s systems were infiltrated using a refrigeration and HVAC supplier’s access credentials. The attackers then proceeded to infect the company’s POS systems with malware that scraped customer data. 

  7. JPMorgan Chase
    Following a breach of one of the company’s website, the attackers used zero-day strategies to infiltrate JPMorgan systems – affecting 76 million households. 
    Dwell time: 90 days

  8. Sony
    Believed to have been perpetrated by a group of state-sponsored North Korean attackers who leveraged an internal leak, Sony was effectively brought to a standstill following a massive breach of all internal systems. Over the course of several months, Sony’s systems were rendered inoperable as multiple data dumps were leaked, including complete film titles which had not been publicly released. 

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