Data Breaches Compromise More than 600,000 Records So Far in 2017

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The latest count from the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) indicates that there have been 110 data breaches recorded this year through February 8, 2017, and that nearly 700,000 records have been exposed since the beginning of the year. This is the ITRC’s first report for the new year.

There were a record 1,093 data breaches reported in 2016, a jump of 40% compared with the 2015 total of 780 breaches. A total of 36.6 million records were exposed last year, well below the 169 million records exposed in 2015.

A January ransomware attack against Emory Healthcare, Georgia’s largest health care provider, resulted in 200,000 patient records being withheld until the hospital paid a 0.2 Bitcoin (about $200, according to a Bitcoin price index) ransom. The attack was made on a misconfigured MongoDB database, and several other MongoDB users around the world were also attacked, although not by the thief who stole the Emory data.

The medical/health care sector led all sectors in the number of records compromised so far in 2017. It posted 38.2% (42) of all data breaches. The number of records exposed in these breaches totaled tops 600,000, or about 93.1% of the 2016 total.

The business sector accounts for more than 12,000 exposed records in 46 incidents. That represents 41.8% of the incidents and 1.8% of the exposed records so far in 2017.

The educational sector saw 16 data breaches in the first weeks of the year. The sector accounts for 14.5% of all breaches for the year and more than 10,000 exposed records, about 1.5% of the year’s total.

The government/military sector has suffered six data breaches to date in 2017, representing about 3.6% of the total number of records exposed and 5.5% of the incidents. Over 24,000 records have been compromised in the government/military sector.

The banking/credit/financial sector has reported no breaches so far this year. The sector accounted for 52 data breaches in 2016, involving about 72,000 records, some 4.8% of the total number of breaches and about 0.2% of the records exposed for the year.

Since beginning to track data breaches in 2005, ITRC had counted 7,010 breaches through February 8, 2017, involving more than 888 million records.