Five of the Biggest Data Breaches in U.S. History

Data hackers have become more sophisticated as technology advances. Newer technologies strive to protect users from security breaches, yet data infiltration is still an epidemic. The biggest data breaches affect tens of millions of people in one hit – exposing private data such as credit card numbers, medical records, and personal information. Take it from those who were targeted – recovering from a data breach isn’t easy. Here are the five biggest data breaches.

Sony: “The Interview” Hack

The 2014 Sony data breach made headlines as one of the largest data breaches in history. Gomez Trial Attorneys filed one of the first class action lawsuits against Sony in the country, defending a former Sony employee on behalf of all employees who were victims of the hack. Outside hackers accessed confidential information from Sony in an attempt to prevent the release of the movie “The Interview.”

In the Sony breach, hackers stole sensitive data, such as Social Security numbers, private emails, and medical information from Sony employees. Sony failed to provide reasonable protection against the possibility of a data breach for its employees. The company’s executive director stated that Sony didn’t want to invest $10 million in security measures to avoid a $1 million loss. Now the company will have to pay substantial compensation for its mistake.

Target: Payment-Card Reader Hack

The Target payment-card reader breach of 2013 affected anywhere between 70 million and 110 million shoppers. Hackers stole credit and debit card numbers as well as personal information –full names, addresses, and telephone numbers from shoppers via the card readers at checkout. Beginning on Black Friday, hackers infected two Target computer systems. The hack continued without detection for about two weeks before Target discovered the breach and shut down the system.

Anthem: Health Care Record Hack

In 2015, hackers stole about 80 million personal records from the health care giant Anthem. Anthem encompasses other insurance providers, including Blue Cross Blue Shield. The attack tricked Anthem employees into downloading a Trojan virus with key-logger software, allowing the hackers to steal important passwords. The hackers then gained access to unencrypted patient data and health records – information estimated to be worth about 10 times the amount of credit card data. Experts suspect the hackers will sell the stolen data on the black market.

JP Morgan Chase: American Household Hack

The financial institution JP Morgan Chase was the victim of a large-scale security attack in 2014, one that impacted two-thirds of all American households. The hackers gained access to login credentials with phishing scams that tricked users. The hackers stole information that’s normally encrypted and thus safe from hackers, using the Heartbleed bug to access unencrypted data. Stolen information in this hack included phone numbers, email address, and full names of JP Morgan Chase customers.

Home Depot: Credit Card Hack

Similar to the Target attack, Home Depot underwent a data hack that involved the theft of 56 million payment card numbers in 2014. Hackers infected Home Depot’s point-of-sale system by masquerading as antivirus software. When employees downloaded the software, the hackers gained access to customer credit and debit card information. While this breach was one of the largest direct attacks on retailers, it didn’t get the same volume of media attention as the Target breach.

Did Hackers Compromise Your Data? Get Legal Help

The Gomez Firm has experienced handling class actions against companies for failing to take reasonable steps to prevent the theft of sensitive information, and we can help you take legal action. Whether hackers stole your personal information, income data, credit card numbers, or sensitive medical records, we can help you take legal steps toward suing the negligent party for damages. When you’re ready to stand up against data breaches, contact us for a free case evaluation.

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