Hackers Broke into 174 Million Accounts in 2011

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The release of Verizon's annual "Data Breach Investigations Report" gives some numeric confirmation that 2011 was indeed "The Year of the Hack," as some observers (including us) maintained. The report found that hackers compromised the data of 174 million users last year, but the biggest standout is how much of that was attributable to Anonymous, which accessed firms as various as the Sony Playstation Network and consulting firm Stratfor. Verizon's report says all told the hacktivist groups operations compromised user data in 100 million accounts, or 58 percent of the total. "Verizon’s director of security research Wade Baker says it’s giant compared to the same category in previous studies, which barely created a blip on Verizon’s radar last year," writes Andy Greenberg for Forbes. How big is 100 million, relatively? In 2010, there was only a total of 4 million compromised records. But 2010 was a total aberration; there were 144 million compromised records in 2009 and 361 million in 2008.

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