2018 Data Breaches Slightly Lower Year Over Year in January

The latest count from the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) reports that there have been 116 data breaches recorded this year through January 31 and that more than 3 million records have been exposed since the beginning of the year. The incident total is 7.2% lower than at the same time last year.

In 2017 the ITRC reported a total of 1,579, a new annual record and 45% higher than the previous record of 1,091 set in 2016. The ITRC has been reporting data breach totals since 2005.

Monday was the first day that American taxpayers could file returns for the 2017 tax year. It was also the first day that tax refund fraudsters could begin filing phony returns in hopes of using stolen identities to obtain a refund to which they are in no way entitled.

Brian Krebs at Krebs on Security warns:

If you file your taxes electronically and the return is rejected, and if you were the victim of identity theft (e.g., if your Social Security number and other information was leaked in the Equifax breach last year), you should submit an Identity Theft Affidavit (Form 14039). The IRS advises that if you suspect you are a victim of identity theft, continue to pay your taxes and file your tax return, even if you must do so by paper.

Read the whole article. It’s worth your time.

The business sector leads them all in the number of records compromised so far in 2018, with more than 2 million exposed records in 62 incidents. That represents 53.4% of the incidents and 64.1% of the exposed records so far this year.

The medical/health care sector has posted 26.7% (31) of all 2018 data breaches. The number of records exposed in these breaches totals more than 230,000, or about 7.4% of the year-to-date total.

The educational sector has experienced seven data breaches since the beginning of the year. The sector accounts for 6% of all breaches for the year and more than 280,000 exposed records, about 8.9% of the year’s total.

The government/military sector has suffered nine data breaches to date in 2018, representing about 15.8% of the total number of records exposed and 7.8% of the incidents. Nearly 500,000 records have been compromised in the sector.

The number of banking/credit/financial sector breaches totals seven, about 6% of the total incidents reported so far this year. Nearly 120,000 records have been reported to be compromised in the incidents.

Since beginning to track data breaches in 2005, ITRC had counted 8,592 breaches through January 31, 2018, involving almost 1.06 billion records.