Global Data Breaches Exposed Nearly 2.7 Billion Records First Half of 2018

Print Email

There were 2,308 global data breaches in the first half of 2018 that exposed more than 2.6 billion user data records. Both totals were well below last year’s 2,439 breaches and more than 6 billion exposed records.

Nearly half (48.7%) of breaches occurred in the United States, while the locations of another 40% were unknown. More than half of exposed records (56.3%) occurred outside the United States, with the largest exposure taking place in the first quarter of the year in India (1.1 billion records).

The 1,074 reported U.S. breaches exposed 1.03 billion records for an average of about 960,000 per breach but a median of just 1,412 per breach. Germany was the only other country where more than 100 million records were exposed. The United Kingdom experienced the second-largest number of breaches with 62.

The data were reported Wednesday by security firm Risk Based Security. Executive Vice-President Inga Goddijn said:

2018 has been a curious year. After the wild ride of 2017, we became accustomed to seeing a
lot of breaches, exposing extraordinary amounts of information. 2018 is remarkable in that the
number of publicly disclosed breaches appears to be leveling off while the number of records
exposed remains stubbornly high.

According to Risk Based Security, the largest reported breach in the first half of the year was reported by an unnamed Indian organization that exposed 1.19 billion names and unique identification numbers (Aadhaar numbers). This breach is the fifth largest of all time, according to the firm.

Two other first-half breaches made the top 20 all-time list of breaches: U.S. marketing company Exactis exposed 340 million records, and social media giant Twitter exposed 336 million records. These rank as the 11th and 12th largest breaches ever.

The U.S. state hit hardest by data breaches was California, where 110 breaches were logged and about 468 million records were exposed. In addition to California, three other states posted more than 10 million exposed records: Florida, 341 million; Maryland, 151 million; and Washington, 48 million.