2017 Data Breaches Near 800 as Attacks Reported on Nuclear Power Plants

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The latest count from the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) reports that there have been 791 data breaches recorded this year through July 6 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.

A chilling bit of news was reported Thursday: hackers have been targeting computer networks of companies that operate U.S. nuclear power generating stations. The New York Times reported that it had obtained a joint report issued the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the FBI and confirmed the attacks with “security specialists who have been responding to the attacks.” The Times story has details on these and other attacks against the energy and manufacturing sectors in the United States and overseas.

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 434 incidents. That represents 54.9% of the incidents and 61% of the exposed records so far this year.

The medical/health care sector has posted 22.5% (178) of all 2017 data breaches. The number of records exposed in these breaches totals 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 11.3% of all breaches for the year and more than 1 million exposed records, about 8.7% of the year’s total.

The government/military sector has suffered 44 data breaches to date in 2017, representing about 1.7% of the total number of records exposed and 5.6% 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 46, some 5.8% 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 7,689 breaches through June 30, 2017, involving more than 900 million records.