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The Best of the Worst Website Security Breaches

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Facebook was once again in the news recently due to an unfortunate security breach that resulted in the information of around 30 million users possibly being compromised. “Hacks” and data breaches happen on a daily basis and while many of them do make the news, some were just inherently more newsworthy than others. However, when it comes to severity, there have been some major incidents over the years and we thought we’d take a look at the top 10 today.


Heartland Heartache

Starting off the list is the March 2008 breach of Heartland Payment Systems that resulted in 134 million credit cards being exposed. The issue wasn’t even discovered for almost a full year and was only revealed when a couple of the major credit card companies noticed suspicious transactions on millions of accounts that Heartland had handled. Heartland was processing 100 million credit card transactions per month for about 175,000 small to mid-sized retailers at the time and had to pay $145 million in compensation. However, in 2010 a man was found guilty and sentenced to 20 years in prison for this international operation that affected so many.


Target Gets Targeted

Credit card and/or contact information of up to 110 million people was compromised in December of 2013 and though the breach actually began before Thanksgiving, it wasn’t discovered until several weeks later. Target estimated the cost of the breach at $162 million and included full names, addresses, email addresses, and telephone numbers – Target’s CIO and CEO both resigned over the incident.


TJX’s Jinks

94 million credit cards were exposed in the attack on TJX Companies, Inc in December 2006. The government claimed the total losses were close to $200 million and the same person found guilty of the Heartland hack was found to be responsible for leading the gang of thieves in this attack.


JP Morgan Gets Chased

The July 2014 breach of JP Morgan Chase affected more than half of all US households at 76 million, along with 7 million small businesses. While the bank said that no customer money was actually stolen, the compromised info included names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, and internal information about the users.


eBay Mayday

In May of 2014, all 145 million eBay users had their names, addresses, date of birth, and encrypted passwords exposed. eBay said hackers got into the network using the credentials of three eBay employees, and they had complete access for over 200 days, gaining access to the user database during that time. Financial information, such as credit card numbers, was stored separately and was not compromised and while user activity declined for a short time, it’s clear today that the website security issue didn’t affect their popularity for long.


Equifax Attack

In late July of 2017, 209,000 Equifax users had their credit card data exposed and an additional 143 million had their SSN, birth date, and addresses compromised. Equifax said that an application vulnerability on one of their websites led to the data breach that exposed millions of consumers and though it was discovered in July, the culprits likely had gained access as much as two months beforehand.


Adult Friend Finder Blunder

More than 412 million accounts were affected by the October 2016 attack on the FriendFinder Network. This breach included websites like Adult Friend Finder, Penthouse.com, Cams.com, iCams.com, and stripshow.com and revealed 20 years worth of data on six different databases that included names, email addresses and passwords of their customers.


Uber Gets Clobbered

600,000 drivers and 57 million users of Uber’s services had their personal information exposed in late 2016 and the way the company handled the whole situation is slightly more than cringe-worthy. Not only did they pay the hackers $100,000 to supposedly destroy the stolen data, but they also didn’t advise anyone about the breach for about a year.


PlayStation Gets Played

On 4/20 of 2011, 77 million PlayStation Network accounts were hacked and since the site was down for a month, the company estimated their losses at $171 million. Hackers gained access to full names, passwords, e-mails, home addresses, purchase history, credit card numbers, and logins and passwords and a few years later Sony settled a class action lawsuit for $15 million over the incident.


Yahoo’s BooBoo

Though it took several years for the actual truth to come out and the full scope of their breaches were revealed, it may go down as the biggest hack in history. Between 2013 and 2014, over 3 billion user accounts were compromised at Yahoo — providing the real names, email addresses, dates of birth, and telephone numbers of billions of users to the hackers. Yahoo was in negotiations to be sold at the time and this revelation knocked an estimated $350 million off their sale price.


Peace of Mind With BionicWP

Since any sized company and any product or service can become the target of hackers, you need secure website hosting that protects you in more ways than one. With daily malware scans, 90-days of offsite backups, real-time up-time monitoring, and expert support available, BionicWP will be there if you ever do need us.


WordPress makes managing and updating your site a breeze, and BionicWP gives you peace of mind. While no web hosting company can completely guarantee that you’ll never be compromised or experience a security breach, we can guarantee that if something does happen, you’ll be back up and running faster and more efficiently than numerous other WordPress hosting providers available today at much higher prices.  

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