Monday, January 05, 2009

Data Breaches Up Almost 50 Percent, Affecting Records of 35.7 Million People

Brian Krebs writes in The Washington Post:

Businesses, governments and educational institutions reported nearly 50 percent more data breaches last year than in 2007, exposing the personal records of at least 35.7 million Americans, according to a nonprofit group that works to prevent identity fraud.

Identity Theft Resource Center of San Diego is set to announce today that some 656 breaches were reported in 2008, up from 446 in the previous year. Nearly 37 percent of the breaches occurred at businesses, while schools accounted for roughly 20 percent of the reported incidents.

The center also found that the percentage of breaches attributed to data theft from current and former employees more than doubled from 7 percent in 2007 to nearly 16 percent in 2008.

"This may be reflective of the economy, or the fact that there are more organized crime rings going after company information using insiders," said Linda Foley, the center's co-founder. "As companies become more stringent with protecting against hackers, insider theft is becoming more prevalent."

More here.


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