2017 Data Breaches to Date Tops 1,100

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The latest count from the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) reports that there have been 1,103 data breaches recorded this year through October 18, and that more than 171 million records have been exposed since the beginning of the year. The incident total is 22.4% higher than at the same time last year.

In 2016, the ITRC reported a record total of 1,093 breaches, and at the current pace that record could rise to around 1,500 in 2017.

Belgium-based researchers have discovered a flaw in the Wi-Fi protocol known as Wi-Fi Protected Access II or WPA2 that is used on most of today’s wireless networks. The flaw permits anyone to break the protocol’s security model and steal data flowing between a wireless device and the targeted Wi-Fi network. That data could include passwords and other personal information.

The attack, called KRACK, “works against all modern protected WiFi networks,” according to the researchers. The weaknesses is in the protocol itself, not in individual products or implementations. The details are available here.

The business sector leads them all in the number of records compromised so far in 2017, with nearly 157 million exposed records in 577 incidents. That represents 52.3% of the incidents and 91.5% of the exposed records so far this year.

The medical/health care sector has posted 27.2% (300) of all 2017 data breaches. The number of records exposed in these breaches totals nearly 4.8 million, or about 2.8% of the 2017 total.

The educational sector has experienced 103 data breaches since the beginning of the year. It accounts for 9.3% of all breaches for the year and more than 1.1 million exposed records, about 0.7% of the year’s total.

The government/military sector has suffered 53 data breaches to date in 2017, representing about 3.4% of the total number of records exposed and 4.8% of the incidents. Nearly 5.8 million records have been compromised in the sector.

The number of banking/credit/financial sector breaches now totals 70, some 6.3% of the total incidents reported so far this year. More than 2.9 million records have been reported to be compromised in the incidents.

Since beginning to track data breaches in 2005, ITRC had counted 8,001 breaches through October 18, 2017, involving more than 1.05 billion records.