In our digitalized world, identity theft is not only becoming more and more popular, it's also ringing in a whole new era of a different kind of war - one that is fought from behind computer screens, but not any less grimly.
No matter how hard enterprises are trying to protect themselves as well as their user data, security breaches are happening more and more often, causing the companies not only losses in the financial area, but a major damage in image and consumer trust.
Here are the top 10 major identity theft cases of last year that tufitech took a look at:
Date: March 3, 2016
Compromised records: ca. 700
Snapchat employees fell prey to a fairly easy and old-fashioned identity theft concept in March last year: a phishing scam. Following a hack of emails, over 700 employees had their personal information stolen.
Allegedly, the hackers posted as Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel, capturing sensitive information such as payroll data, social security numbers and various other private data. No arrests have been made so far.
9. Verizon Enterprise Solutions
Date: March 25, 2016
Compromised records: ca. 1.5 million
In a firstly completely undetected breach, over 1.5 million user accounts were compromised in the Verizon daughter branch. Here, we are talking about accounts that belong to global businesses and government agencies - their info was being sold in a Darknet forum.
Date: May 17, 2016
Compromised records: ca. 117 million
LinkedIn does not seem to have much luck in protecting their user data, which is bad news for a business social network. It appears that following a 2012 breach with 117 million accounts stolen, LinkedIn only just now acknowledged this and taking measures - in 2016.
It is unclear if the stolen information has been used, sold or altered in the meantime.
Date: August 12, 2016
Compromised records: unknown
Oracle is one of the biggest point-of-sale systems worldwide, mostly used in cash registers. Oracle still is unsure if the breach affected all of the globally existing 300,000 accounts.
Russian hackers identified themselves as the culprit behind this theft, using malware to gain access to the accounts.
Date: September 2, 2016
Compromised records: ca. 68 million
A major blow to the image for Dropbox: it was discovered last year that over 68 million users data was stolen - in 2012. It appears that those accounts were prone to enemy access for all those years.
Date: November 13, 2016
Compromised records: ca. 412 million users
In one of the biggest security breaches last year, Adult Friend Finder had over 412 million accounts compromised.
Adult Friend Finder has to this date not confirmed the attack, although very sensitive information such as credit card info, membership data and email details were captured and offered for sale on the internet by the hackers.
4. Department of Homeland Security, FBI
Date: February 2016
Compromised records: ca. 29,000
Even the FBI can get hacked! A single hacker was able to steal over 29,000 accounts and after posted on Motherboard that he had access to over 200GB of sensitive data.
Compromised records: ca. 65 million
Tumblr suffered from an identity theft attack that compromised over 65 million accounts, it is unknown yet what the hacker intended to do, or in fact did, with the looted information.
There might have been a security leak connection, as Tumblr is owned by Yahoo, who have been experiencing problems on that front for years now.
Date: February 2016
Compromised records: ca. 43 million
The breach was only discovered after 8 months - passwords, account data, IP information and even addresses were captured by the hackers.
When: December and September 2016
Compromised records: 1 billion
Marking probably the biggest identity theft case in history - Yahoo. Having had trouble with security leaks in the past (over 500 million accounts hacked in September), Yahoo was hit yet again in December.
It is estimated that over 1 billion user accounts and email domains have been affected. Details of this theft case are still unknown, and more information is being discovered as the investigation goes on.