While big data breaches have been getting a ton of media attention lately, it’s sometimes tough to imagine how they compare to one another.
A recent report released by the RAND Corporation’s National Security Research Division put the big data breaches into perspective. The chart below appears in RAND’s report and shows how the most recent data breaches of various high-profile companies compare to each other.
As the chart shows, the biggest cyberattacks have not always been on the most high-profile companies. Social application site RockYou! is not particularly well-known, but it had a data breach that exposed over 32 million accounts. By comparison, a hack of the popular shoe website Zappos exposed just 24 million accounts.
And some of the biggest attacks have not always made for the most interesting, or newsworthy, hacking stories. Over 50 million Evernote users had their passwords stolen last year, but the attack was largely the result of users simply not having strong enough passwords.
According to the RAND report, experts disagree on the scale of future attacks. Some believe future hacks will be targeted and persistent, as they have been recently with photo-sharing apps such as iCloud and Snapsave.
Others foresee more opportunistic, mass “smash-and-grab” attacks, like the attack on Target last year when hackers stole 40 million credit card numbers from every one of the company’s 1,797 US stores.
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