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Summary:

A new interactive graphic highlights the biggest data breaches of the last 10 years.

Apple has promised a security overhaul following the hacking of its developer website, or, what Apple is calling a “friendly” intrusion. But Apple is neither the first nor the last company to be the victim of a major data breach, and a new interactive graphic from Information is Beautiful shows a decade’s worth of hacker damage to some of the world’s biggest companies.

Beginning with an AOL engineer’s scandalous theft of 92 million usernames — which he then turned around and sold to spammers — the timeline shows that hundreds of millions of users’ accounts were compromised over the years. From PlayStation to TJ Maxx and even the U.S. military, each breach is presented in a bubble that is sized in proportion to the amount of data leaked. You can also make it such that the size of the bubbles is proportional not to the number of people affected but the sensitivity of the data that was lost. Users can also filter the breaches by hacking technique, which includes accidental leak, lost data, poor security, and high-level hacking, as well as industry.

Each separate breach includes the number of victims involved, as well as a brief synopsis of the event. Those who want to delve deeper into these breaches will find links to the original news stories.

The graphic puts Apple’s current situation in context, as the 275,000 users affected by this most recent hack pale in comparison to the more than 12 million users allegedly compromised when AntiSec tapped into an FBI computer. Not surprisingly, data breaches have increased in the last few years.

The interactive graphic contains some other findings too —  like the fact that so-called inside jobs don’t happen as often as accidentally publishing secret information. It also concludes that the most vital piece of data for any company — its stash of usernames and emails — is also the most readily available piece of information for hackers to use in scams.

  1. I’m not surprised. Online security is sorely lacking in most services and companies. Ubuntu forums just got hacked and user data was compromised. Fortunately, I regularly read up on personal online security at vpnexpress.net. I also use ExpressVPN so hackers can’t abuse my data.

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