US: data breaches

August 23, 2007 at 9:32 pm Leave a comment

I had not planned to write further about data breaches but when I saw the numbers in the US Chronology of Data Breaches provided by Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, the scale of the problem hit home.

It’s truly numbing.

According to their records, from 10 Jan 2005 to 22 August 2007, there were about 160 million known records containing sensitive personal information involved in security breaches in the US. This excludes a very large number of breaches where the number of records compromised is unknown.

I’ll try to put this into perspective.

I started this blog on 28 July 2007 and in the 26 days to 22 August 2007, there have been about 600,000 known customer records containing sensitive personal information breached. Worse, these numbers are only from the 11 breaches where the numbers are known; another 11 are classified unknown.

That is an average of about 23,000 known breached records a day.

The largest breach was 445,000 records from the California Public Employees’ Retirement System. Good thing that California has a data breach notification law!

A less amusing thought: data breaches happen faster than I can write about them. Compared to my effort of 20 posts in that period, there were 22 data breaches.

And this is in the US alone.


Entry filed under: data_breach, fraud, identity, personal_info, privacy, security, USA.

NZ: making the cost of a data breach explicit NZ Government authentication approach

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