Cyber crime: biggest online data breaches 2007-2019

This statistic presents a selection of the biggest online data breaches worldwide as of May 2019, ranked by number of records stolen. In August 2016, a 2014 hack of online platform Yahoo was uncovered, affecting at least 500 million users accounts. In December 2016, the company revealed another hack dating back to 2013, which affected 1 billion user records. The impact of the second reported Yahoo hack was updated in October 2017, when the company revealed that 3 billion accounts had been affected, making it the largest data breach in history. In 2011, Sony's PlayStation Network and Qriocity music service were attacked by hacking collective Lulzsec. The PSN was offline for more than 43 days and 77 million data records were stolen.

Compromised data records in data breaches – additional information

With the increasing use of digital files and reliance on digital data by many corporations, data breaches have become fairly common in the last decade or so. For example, the number of data breaches in the U.S. increased from 157 million in 2005 to 781 million in 2015, while the number of exposed records jumped from around 67 million to 169 million during the same time frame. The largest data breach of all time, as of September 2016, was an allegedly state-sponsored hack of Yahoo, which dates to late 2014 but it was only uncovered in 2016. The company advised all its users to change their passwords and take further measures to secure their accounts.

Identity theft is the most common type of data breach incident in the world. In 2015, identity theft accounted for more than 50 percent of all global data breaches, and about 40 percent of all compromised records that year. The services sector had the highest number of identities exposed that year – nearly 260 million. This figure accounted for just over 60 percent of all identities were exposed through data breaches in 2015. The financial sector is also highly affected by cyber crimes. Financial access data theft is the second most common type of data breach, accounting for 22 percent of all data breaches. In 2015, this sector had a total of 120 million identities exposed. The costs of cyber crimes are rather high for the financial services sector. Global cyber crimes caused, on average, a 13.5 million U.S. dollars annual loss for the financial services industry, the highest average amongst all industries.

Number of compromised data records in selected data breaches as of May 2019

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Release date

May 2019



Survey time period

May 2019

Supplementary notes

* Although the attack happened in 2014, Yahoo only discovered the incursion after August 2016 reports of a separate breach.

** Facebook now says the data firm Cambridge Analytica gained unauthorized access to up to 87 million users' data, mainly in the United States.

*** Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed that "malicious actors" took advantage of "Search" tools on its platform to discover the identities and collect information on most of its 2 billion users worldwide.

**** Dubsmash was part of the theft of 617 million online account details from 16 hacked websites, put up for sale on the dark web. Other victims sites included ShareThis, HauteLook, and others.

Selected data from Information is Beautiful.

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