2017 Data Breaches Continue to Climb as Petya Malware Strikes

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The latest count from the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) reports that there have been 774 data breaches recorded this year through June 27 and that more than 12 million records have been exposed since the beginning of the year.

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

The global Petya malware attack earlier this week that has spread to 60 countries from its first appearance Tuesday in Ukraine. Major victims include U.K. advertising powerhouse WPP, Danish container shipping firm A.P. Moller-Maersk and FedEx’s European TNT division. The attack, at first compared with the WannaCry ransomware attack in mid-May, is now believed to have used a ransomware cover to hide a powerful disk wiping program that makes it impossible to recover data. One British security expert told Reuters, “This starts to look like a state operating through a proxy.”

The business sector leads them all in the number of records compromised so far in 2017, with more than 7.5 million exposed records in 423 incidents. That represents 54.7% of the incidents and 61% of the exposed records so far this year.

The medical/health care sector has posted 22.4% (173) of all data breaches. The number of records exposed in these breaches totaled more than 3 million, or about 24.3% of the 2017 total.

The educational sector has experienced 89 data breaches since the beginning of the year. The sector accounts for 11.5% of all breaches for the year and more than 1 million exposed records, about 9% of the year’s total.

The government/military sector has suffered 45 data breaches to date in 2017, representing about 1.7% of the total number of records exposed and 5.8% of the incidents. More than 200,000 records have been compromised in the government/military sector.

The number of banking/credit/financial sector breaches now totals 44, some 5.7% of the total incidents reported so far this year. Some 526,000 records have been reported to be compromised in the incidents.

Since beginning to track data breaches in 2005, ITRC had counted 7,674 breaches through June 27, 2017, involving more than 900 million records.