2018 Data Breaches Total 140 Incidents

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The latest count from the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) reveals that there have been 140 data breaches recorded this year through February 21 and that nearly 3 million records have been exposed since the beginning of the year. The incident total is roughly flat with last year’s total to date.

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.

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) last week warned taxpayers of a new tax scam that involves a claim by the scammers that the IRS has erroneously deposited a refund in the taxpayer’s bank account. Scammers then use various methods to reclaim the refund from the taxpayer.

The twist to this new scam is that rather than using stolen personal information to file a fraudulent return, the scammers have the refund deposited to the real taxpayer’s account and then demand that the taxpayer repay the erroneous refund.

The business sector leads them all in the number of records compromised so far in 2018 with more than 2.1 million exposed records in 57 incidents. That represents 40.7% of the incidents, and 74.2% of the exposed records so far this year.

The medical/health care sector has posted 28.6% (40) of all 2018 data breaches. The number of records exposed in these breaches totals more than 175,000, or about 6.1% of the year-to-date total.

The number of banking/credit/financial sector breaches totals 17, about 12.1% of the total incidents reported so far this year. More than 36,000 records (about 1.3% of the annual total) have been reported to be compromised in the incidents.

The government/military sector has suffered 15 data breaches to date in 2018, representing about 8.7% of the total number of records exposed and 10.7% of the incidents. More than 250,000 records have been compromised in the sector.

The educational sector has experienced 11 data breaches since the beginning of the year. The sector accounts for 7.9% of all breaches and more than 280,000 exposed records, about 9.8% of the year’s total.

Since beginning to track data breaches in 2005, ITRC had counted 8,652 breaches through February 16, 2018, involving almost 1.07 billion records.