[BreachExchange] Data Breach Numbers Skyrocket in 2019

Destry Winant destry at riskbasedsecurity.com
Tue Aug 20 01:42:16 EDT 2019


The number of data breaches spiked dramatically in the first half of
this year compared to previous years, according to a report from
vulnerability intelligence company Risk Based Security. Its analysis
found that breach numbers for the first six months of 2019 grew by 54%
compared to the same period last year, while the number of exposed
records grew 52%.

The growth in data breach volume bucks a trend that saw the number of
breaches plateau in 2017 and 2018.

"The reason? Over 1,300 data leaks, mostly exposing email addresses
and passwords, were documented in the first half of 2019," the report
said. "Although these tend to be relatively small events, averaging
fewer than 230 records exposed per incident, these leaks have
contributed substantially to the number of access credentials freely
available on the Internet."

The number of records exposed in 1H 2019 (4.19 billion) may be larger
than in 2018 (2.74 billion), but historical record volumes are more
erratic. The first half of 2017 saw six billion records exposed, the
report said.

According to the report, eight breaches within the first half of this
year accounted for 3.2 billion breached records, or 78.6% of the
total. Three of the breaches were among the largest of all time.

Six of the top eight breaches stemmed from misconfigured databases or
web applications: Verifications.io (982 million records), First
American Financial (885 million), Cultura Colectiva (540 million), two
unknown organizations in India and China (275 million and 202 million,
respectively) and Justdial (100 million).

Web-based breaches like these are by far the most common in terms of
exposed records, accounting for 79% of total breaches in the first
half of the year.

Only two of the top eight – Dubsmash's 161 million record-breach and
Canva's loss of 139 million records – were down to other hacking

The number of breaches doesn't tell the whole story, either. While the
first half of this year yielded more breaches than ever before, the
majority had a moderate to low severity score and exposed 10,000
records or fewer.

The type of data stolen also plays a part. Email addresses and
passwords are still the primary records stolen, present in 70% and 65%
of stolen data sets, respectively. These can be used for credential
stuffing when shared across multiple sites, but they can also be
changed, the report points out.

More critical data was less commonly stolen. Addresses, credit card
and Social Security numbers were only stolen in 11% of attacks, with
account numbers only showing up in 10%.

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