World’s Biggest Data Breaches and Hacks in Recent History

People store some of their most private information on the Internet, trusting that the company holding on to it can keep it all safe. But unfortunately that’s not always the case –  hacks, viruses, lost computers, inside jobs, accidental publishing, and more have all been sources of major leaks over the last 8 years.

Information is Beautiful has created an infographic titled “World’s Biggest Data Breaches & Hacks – selected losses greater than 30,000 records.” You can see all of the data that was collected and used for the infographic here in an Information is Beautiful public Google doc.

One of the largest data breaches in 2012 involved Living Social. Online criminals gained access to user names, e-mail addresses, dates of birth and encrypted passwords for 50 million people. Some of the many companies that experienced data breaches in 2012 include Apple, Facebook, Yahoo! Japan, Twitter, and Nintendo.

The infographic goes back to 2005 with AOL when a former AOL employee stole 92 million screen names and e-mail addresses. The stolen information was sold to spammers who then sent up to 7 billion unsolicited emails.

Information is Beautiful’s infographic turned typically boring data into something interesting and interactive. You can filter by organization, method of leak, year, number of records stolen and data sensitivity. Because the data breaches are broken down by year you can see how the Internet has changed over the last 8 years.

The image below is just a preview of what you’ll see when you visit Information is Beautiful.


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