The hacks keep coming. It’s been a year since we rounded up the usual suspects and looked at just how vulnerable our private data is, so we decided to take another look.
We confine our lists to financial data, but we have to note the breach of ashleymadison.com, a website designed to allow spouses to carry on extramarital affairs. The data stolen from the site included that of a decidedly more personal nature, and the angst the theft caused – not to mention the media storm – was riveting to watch.
A blog on the site govtech.com noted that, indeed, the hacks in 2015 were of a more personal nature than those in the past. Instead of just stealing credit card numbers, bank account data and Social Security numbers, thieves got their hands on fingerprints, hospital records and other information not meant to be shared with strangers.
The take-home lesson is that cyber data is unsafe and more needs to be done to ensure its security. Whether 2016 is the year companies, governments and people get wise to that is unclear.
Check out 6 Big Hack Attacks Targeting Financial Data, ranked in reverse order by number of people affected.
6. Landry’s Restaurants
Going out to eat is something most of us do without a second thought; the only safety concerns crossing our minds are whether restaurants are ensuring the food is cooked properly and the place is clean.
A 2015 hack attack on a national restaurant holding company might change that. The Landry chain, which is based in Houston and includes more than 500 restaurants, reported that credit card data was stolen from some of its locations around the U.S. The breach, which occurred between May and December, was discovered when unauthorized charges were made on the credit and debit cards of customers of restaurants that include McCormick & Schmick’s, Morton’s, Rainforest Café and others.
The total scope of the hack has not been revealed. Landry’s says it took steps to enhance its data security.
5. UCLA Hospital System
Add hospitals to the list of not-so-safe computer systems. UCLA Health was hacked, and the records of 4.5 million workers and patients were accessed. The data taken included medical info, Social Security and Medicare numbers and home addresses. As with many hacks, the breach went unnoticed at first and then wasn’t made public for weeks after it was first identified. In August, a month after the hack became known publicly, a class action lawsuit was filed, according to the Los Angeles Times. The Times noted that some cybersecurity experts said UCLA was negligent for not encrypting the data.
4. Premera Blue Cross
Health insurers have lots of personal information and with records being kept online, the vulnerability is clear. The hackers who hit Premera in March 2015 found a supermarket of data ready for the taking. And take they did, according to the insurer. The claims records, bank account numbers and Social Security numbers for as many as 11 million customers, about half in Washington state, were stolen.