Digital privacy expert reviews the most significant data breaches of 2021
LONDON, Dec. 30, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — 2021 was another record-breaking year for leaks, hacks, and dark web data dumps. Hackers were extremely active in exploiting the weak points of Internet users and companies, with the attacks ranging from private individuals to hospitals and entire municipalities. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC), in the first nine months of 2021, 281.5 million people were impacted by data breaches, data exposures and data leaks.
“This year we saw headline after headline about ransomware attacks, third-party hacks, breaches, and even some cyber espionage. Our lives have moved to the digital realm, making us leave even more digital footprint. Not surprisingly, it invites all kinds of scammers and hackers to look for various security vulnerabilities that they could exploit,” explains Daniel Markuson, a digital privacy expert at NordVPN.
Some of the biggest data breaches globally
From the enormous number of data breaches and hacking attacks that happened in 2021, Daniel Markuson from NordVPN has listed the top largest data breaches.
Among the biggest global breaches, here comes the tech giant Facebook, whose users’ data was found on hacking forums in early 2021. The leak included full names, phone numbers, emails, location information, and more. In total, 533 million users were impacted.
Moreover, in 2021 a company Experian was linked to the exposure of data from 220 million Brazilians. The breach, uncovered by the security company PSafe, resulted in large quantities of personal information being sold on the dark web.
Also, security firm Comparitech announced in September that they’d found a giant online database of stolen data. The database included information on more than 100 million travelers, including their names, travel dates, and passport numbers.
Finally, Syniverse, a company which plays a key role in the infrastructure of many huge telecom groups (including T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon), in September 2021 admitted that hackers had access to their networks for potentially several years. More than 500 million records were lost, affecting millions of cellphone users worldwide.
“2021 highlighted vulnerabilities within third-party connections, saw hackers getting smarter and better, and showed how cyber attacks can have devastating real-world consequences,” adds Daniel Markuson from NordVPN.