List of biggest data breaches of 2018

Science

28 Dec 2018

#ThatWas2018: From Quora to Facebook, 5 biggest data breaches

2018 is coming to an end, and we must say the year was truly a roller-coaster ride.

We made some major advancements in technology, but at the same time, we also witnessed a number of setbacks.

Case in point: data breaches. Many organizations willingly or unwillingly compromised personal information of several users.

Here are the 5 biggest breaches of 2018.

Breach #1

Marriott Hotels: Affecting 500 million

Marriott Hotels: Affecting 500 million

Just last month, Marriott admitted to suffering from one of the biggest breaches of the year.

The hotel group revealed that its Starwood division's guest reservation database was breached by an unauthorized third-party.

As a result, the attacker was able to steal information of up to 500 million Marriott guests, including their phone numbers, emails, passport numbers, and even some payment details.

Breach #2

Exactis: Affecting nearly 340 million users

Exactis, a data broker firm compiling consumer and business data for marketing purposes, left as many as 340 million records on a publicly accessible server.

The terabytes worth of data, uncovered by a security researcher Vinny Troia in June, included information like individual phone numbers, emails, home addresses, as well as personally identifiable elements like interests, habits, gender, and age of people.

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Breach #3

Quora: Affecting 100 million users

Quora: Affecting 100 million users

Earlier this month, popular question-and-answer website Quora suffered a mega data breach affecting as many as 100 million users of the service.

The site revealed that a malicious third-party broke into its system, which compromised user names, emails, IP addresses, hashed passwords, and content like messages, questions, answers, comments, blog posts, and upvotes.

Breach #4

Google+: Affecting 52.5 million users

Google+ wasn't hacked but was affected by bugs associated with its APIs for app developers.

In October, the platform exposed data of some 500,000 users, and now in December, it leaked data of as many as 52.5 million users.

These bugs didn't expose passwords or contacts but gave developers unauthorized access to profile-related data like names, emails, occupation, places, and age of the users.

Breach #5

Facebook: Affecting nearly 30 million users

Facebook: Affecting nearly 30 million users

This year was particularly harsh for Facebook, and rightly so.

After the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook's image has been completely marred, a data breach that occurred in September was the last thing Facebook would have wanted.

The platform compromised data of 30 million users when hackers exploited a vulnerability in its code.

They stole users' emails, phone numbers, locations, name, gender, age, religion etc.

Preventive step

What can you do to avoid such breaches?

Almost every company that operates online and you use has something or the other related to you, be it your email or phone number.

You cannot ask every single firm to delete your data or remove yourself completely from the internet.

However, you can enhance your security settings and share limited information with them.

That said, now is the time to accept: Privacy on internet is a myth.

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