The number of data breaches occurring in companies everyday is slowly reaching new heights. There have been unaccountable lives at stake and innumerable personal breaches going on by the hour. However, some have suffered more than others.
Here are some of the companies that have massively been compromised due to security breaches and data leaks.
Remember when Facebook or Instagram did not exist, and folks used Yahoo! and Orkut? Well, there have been a lot of changes since then. While there are a lot of reasons why Yahoo failed to emerge as a viable social media network, security has to be one of them.
In 2013, Yahoo disclosed that there have been close to a billion compromises made by a group of hackers. Moreover, there were pertinent security questions asked of the users that may have enabled such breaches—making mitigation all the more difficult.
To make things even worse, it was revealed in 2017 that the breached number of accounts was more than triple of what was reported in 2013. It turned out that phone numbers and bank accounts were leaked too, in addition to other kinds of personal identifiable information.
- Aadhar Breaches
It was revealed back in 2018 that over a billion people’s data was compromised owing to security breaches of the biometric service company. While there is still an ongoing dispute over the reason for such a breach, it is believed that lack of valid online identity monitoring services and faulty security measures triggered it.
The breach enabled hackers to have access to people’s 12-digit unique Aadhaar numbers, along with associated details like credentials and phone numbers. Moreover, thumbprints, pictures, and other media storage files were breached too.
The blame game evidently shifted to various states and ventures. While some were advised on how to prevent identity theft, most were blamed for lack of scrutiny. Either way, this was one of the most impactful data breaches since it directly tied with the inept nature of the government itsel. It goes without saying that one must protect all of their systems regardless of how safe they might appear—yes, even in the case of Mac computers, you should be looking for the best Mac antivirus for your system.
- Verifications i.o.
Email hacks and breaches have become a commonplace event, for the worse. Not only have email breaches impacted governments, but a multitude of common folks were affected too. In 2019, the email verification service Verifications i.o. revealed that as much as 760 million accounts were breached and a quantifiable amount of data was stolen.
This ranged from IP addresses, passwords, phone numbers, and even birth dates were stolen. Since it worked as one of the primary email verification service providers for the most part, Verifications i.o. was put under massive scrutiny—leading people to question the integrity of services altogether.
- The Infamous Facebook Breach
In an age where people can have their pick of security software solutions and enjoy their unprecendented efficiency in preventing data leaks, an infamous social media scandal caught folks by surprise.
In 2019, it was revealed that Facebook app datasets were exposed publicly on the internet. This included not only likes, comments, saves, posts, but other intricate and intimate data such as names, credentials, photos, bank accounts, fingerprints—basically everything you can imagine had been breached.
The datasets were released on the dark web. This was one of the few cases when no security measure seemed like it could have fixed the situation—after all, if Facebook itself fell prey to it in spite of all their security measures, then it seems unlikely that anyone else could have prevented it if they had been in the same situation.
Remember how Yahoo and Orkut failed to prove their worth owing to security breaches? So was the case of another similar venture, MySpace. In 2016, it was revealed that over 10 years’ worth of data had been stolen, including names, passwords, email addresses, and other credentials from over 600 million users.
It was surprising because a lot of MySpace users switched to better platforms, and yet there were complaints of their data still being breached in spite of not even using MySpace anymore. There were speculations of a Russian hacker being involved and trying to sell the said data on the dark web.
However, MySpace invalidated all credentials of the breached users, especially if they joined the platform post 2013. The breaches were mostly from accounts made in the 2013-2016 time frame, albeit a fair number of details were stolen from older accounts too.
Online breaches are not only malicious, but naturally render any naive user base helpless. Where people can ensure maximum care and scrutiny to minimise such breaches, there is only so much one can do, if the malicious folks on the other end are hellbent on obtaining their data.