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Hacktivists Breached Data of Over 100 Million Users in 2011

By - Source: Forbes | B 6 comments
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855 data breach incidents were outlined in Verizon's latest annual Data Breach Investigations Report.

Only 3 percent were attributed to so-called hacktivists, which is a sharp increase from previous years, but still somewhat minor in the overall picture. However, those 3 percent of hacks captured 56 percent of all user data involved. Verizon claims that hacktivists stole about 100 million user data of a total of 174 million.

Of course, it's a matter of the viewing angle to assess the seriousness of the impact of hacktivists. While there is a 3 percent share of all data breaches overall, the number rises to 25 percent if only incidents at large corporations are considered. It is also worth noting that the Verizon data does not cover any additional damage that has been inflicted to corporations due to takedowns such as denial of service attacks. The true dollar damage being caused may be substantially higher than the numbers mentioned in Verizon's report indicate.

However, Verizon noted that the hacktivists attacks apparently revealed fewer skilled attacks than the company saw originating from financially motivated hackers. Money-focused hackers are much more likely to attack small firms and franchises. Hacktivists seem to be targeting larger targets with more data sets and are using rarely seen methods including DNS tunneling. Also, in about three out of four cases, the targets of hacktivists warned their targets before an attack occurred.

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  • 5 Hide
    luc2k , March 22, 2012 10:10 PM
    Someone call the Gestapo, they're the only ones who can save this article.
  • 3 Hide
    samuelspark , March 22, 2012 10:25 PM
    Lika boss.
  • 0 Hide
    soundping , March 22, 2012 11:54 PM
    All your base are belong to us..
  • 3 Hide
    LuckyDucky7 , March 23, 2012 2:18 AM
    So in other words:
    56% of all data breaches were of the superficial kind, where, for the most part, the only real damage done was public embarrassment of certain users and companies.

    Perhaps a more worrying statistic, though:

    42% of companies were warned that they were going to be under attack yet, with full knowledge of imminent attack, took no extra steps to protect user data.
  • 1 Hide
    spin498 , March 23, 2012 11:55 AM
    "financially motivated hackers" is that a new term for thieves? Call them what they are. They aren't 'hackers' they're criminals plain and simple. You're comparing apples and oranges here.
  • -1 Hide
    wardialer7218 , March 23, 2012 12:40 PM
    "hacktivists"? really? slap on a picture of ppl wearing guy fawkes masks like other clueless media outlets and clueless media consumers will infer that anonymous (which also champions many good causes btw) are criminals (inherently bad). pretty irresponsible "marketing-journalism" if you ask me. did you check your sources? or explain exactly how those numbers were derived to show more fact than sensationalism?

    your government can point to these "stories" to justify eroding your civil liberties and begin censoring the internet for YOUR protection.

    how about a story about government and corporations peddling your personal information "legally" to avoid paying for marketing research to 'better serve their consumers'.