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    CSO: Hackers behind bulk of the 2,644 data breaches in 2012

    CSO reports on a new survey by the Open Society Foundation, “Data Breach QuickView: An Executive’s Guide to Data Breach Trends in 2012” (pdf), on data security breaches, which affect the privacy of individuals’ information. In a recent case, four former executives of a Dun & Bradstreet unit were convicted of illegally buying data on consumers in China. CSO reports:

    For the second year running, hacking was the most frequent source of data breaches, according to a new report based on known incidents in 2012.

    There were 2,644 data breaches last year or just over twice the number known to have occurred in 2011, according a new report by Open Security Foundation, which runs the international DataLoss database, and security consultancy Risk Based Security.

    Hacking was behind 1802 (68.2 percent) of known breaches for the year, which resulted in 22 percent of the 267 million records that were exposed in 2012.

    Conversely, insiders (malicious, accidental, and unknown) were responsible 19.5 percent of data loss incidents, but had a much bigger impact, and were responsible for 66.7 percent of the year’s exposed records.

    Malicious insiders were behind 7.1 percent of all breaches, however they were also responsible for the largest breach of the year by exposed records. Over half of the exposed records in 2012 came from Shanghai Roadway, a Chinese unit of Dun & Bradstreet, which the business information giant shuttered after four employees were found to have sold 150 million Chinese customer records for roughly 23 cents each. […]

    A snapshot of data types is also interesting to note. Credit card numbers were exposed in 6.4 percent of the incidents, account information in 7.4 percent, medical data in 9.4 percent, date of birth in 11.2 percent, social security number (or equivalent) in 14.4 percent and address in 18.8 percent.

    These were overshadowed by name, password, email and other “miscellaneous” data, such as userID that were exposed in over 44 percent of incidents.

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