The past year splashed of high-profile cyberattacks that have targeted many high-profile companies. The Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) has released its annual report, which says that in 2021, the number of reported data breaches jumped by as much as 68% and reached the highest figure ever.
The number of reported data breaches jumped 68% last year to the highest total ever, the report says.
According to the Identity Theft Resource Center’s 2021 Data Breach Report, there were 1,862 data breaches last year, surpassing both 2020’s total of 1,108 and the previous record of 1,506 set in 2017.
The percentage of breaches that involved sensitive information, such as Social Security numbers, rose by 3% to 83%, but remained significantly below 2017’s record of 95%.
There are also good news. The number of people affected by the data breaches dropped down about 5% last year to 294 million. But ITRC attributed the decline to a shift in the focus of cybercriminals toward smaller, more focused attacks, rather than massive data theft.
In turn, the attacks involving ransomware have doubled in each of the past two years. These attacks are 22% of the total number of reported cyberattacks in 2021. At this rate of growth ransomware will surpass phishing as the top cause of data breaches this year.
By sector, the number of breaches increased in all areas, with the exception of the military, which reported no data breaches last year. The biggest increase was in manufacturing and utilities, where the number of breaches more than doubled.
TOP 3 data breaches in 2021
The online brokerage, which has about 18.9 million retail clients, announced Monday that a Nov. 3 data breach resulted in various information about 7 million customers being exposed. For 5 million of them, email address were accessed, and another 2 million had their full names revealed.
Additionally, personal information including name, date of birth and ZIP code was exposed for about 310 people, and about 10 customers had more extensive account details revealed. Robinhood said it is alerting affected individuals.
The company said that based on its investigation, no Social Security numbers were exposed. Nor were bank account or debit card numbers.
LinkedIn has been hit again with a security breach that exposed the data of 700 million users which, if proven true, would mean that 92% of the site’s users would have had their data compromised. Reports say that the data breached and now available for sale on the dark web include phone numbers, physical addresses, geolocation data, and inferred salaries. LinkedIn denied that the data was breach and said in a statement:
“While we’re still investigating this issue, our initial analysis indicates that the dataset includes information scraped from LinkedIn as well as information obtained from other sources. This was not a LinkedIn data breach and our investigation has determined that no private LinkedIn member data was exposed. Scraping data from LinkedIn is a violation of our Terms of Service and we are constantly working to ensure our members’ privacy is protected.”
533 million Facebook users’ personal data have been leaked online. The exposed data includes the personal information of over 533 million Facebook users from 106 countries, including over 32 million records on users in the US, 11 million on users in the UK, and 6 million on users in India. It includes their phone numbers, Facebook IDs, full names, locations, birthdates, bios, and, in some cases, email addresses.
A Facebook spokesperson told Insider that the data had been scraped because of a vulnerability that the company patched in 2019.
While it’s a couple of years old, the leaked data could prove valuable to cybercriminals who use people’s personal information to impersonate them or scam them into handing over login credentials, according to Alon Gal, the chief technology officer of the cybercrime intelligence firm Hudson Rock, who discovered the trough of leaked data