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​Biggest Data Breaches of the Last Decade

Russell Nicolet

Cybersecurity has become a serious threat to everyone. In America alone, the average American has had 116 of their accounts compromised over the past ten years. Many people underestimate the number of businesses that have suffered a data breach. It seems like every type of business—from 7-Eleven to Fortnite—has experienced hacking attempts within the past decade.

How serious have data breaches become over the past ten years? Let’s find out.

The eBay Data Breach

Before its data breach, eBay was one of the largest global retailers and auction sites. But the company experienced a data breach that exposed the passwords of 145 million people.

Hackers gained access to the company’s database through the login credentials of some eBay employees. Fortunately, the customers’ financial information was on another server. However, the hackers still had access to confidential information like dates of birth, home addresses, email addresses, and phone numbers. The company notified its customers of the breach and advised them to change their passwords.

Yahoo Data Breach

Yahoo has been a company that has sustained attacks by hackers several times over the years. The company disclosed a breach that affected at least 500 million accounts. The company then disclosed that another attack exposed the information of one billion accounts.

These breaches compromised people’s telephone numbers, dates of birth, and email addresses. Due to the way that the company mishandled communications about the breaches, Yahoo had to settle a class-action lawsuit for $117.5 million.

River City Media

River City Media experienced one of the largest data breaches in history. The event compromised nearly 1.4 billion records because of a configuration backup. The email marketing company configured a backup improperly, which led to the exposure of the entire database online. This mistake exposed confidential information like consumers’ names, IP addresses, and home addresses.

Deep Root Analytics

The Republican National Committee hired Deep Root Analytics, a conservative marketing firm, to market election candidates. The firm’s cloud server held the voter information of 198 million Americans. Unfortunately, a security failure compromised this information. Not only did hackers expose the voters’ opinions on political issues but also their birthdays, home addresses, and phone numbers.

Credit Reporting Service Equifax

​Biggest Data Breaches of the Last Decade

One of the biggest data breaches in history happened to a credit bureau when Equifax experienced a data breach. The breach happened even after the company received advice to improve any vulnerabilities in their system earlier that year, but those improvements didn’t happen.

As a result, hackers gained access to the confidential information of 147 million consumers. Percentage-wise, that’s 56 percent of Americans. Because of a failure to upgrade the company’s system, millions of consumers had their Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, and driver’s license numbers compromised. This breach caused Equifax to pay a $700 million settlement.

The Exactis Breach

Exactis, a data aggregation and marketing firm, also experienced a data breach because of an unsecure server. The company collected email addresses, physical addresses, and phone numbers.

At one point, the company’s server exposed two terabytes of data. This exposure compromised the information of 340 million consumers. Even worse, most people in the database may not have known they were in the database.


Veeam is a data management firm that, ironically, experienced a data breach due to human error. The Switzerland-based company mistakenly left one of its databases visible to unauthorized third parties. This mistake exposed nearly 445 million records to hackers. For ten days, consumers’ IP addresses, names, and emails were available to the public.

The Starwood Hotel Chain Owned by Marriott

Marriott acquired the Starwood hotel chain, and soon after, hackers compromised the confidential information of 383 million people staying at Starwood hotels. Hackers accessed the hotel’s guest reservation database and all related information. The company has also experienced several hacking attempts over the past decade.


Dubsmash, a video messaging app, experienced a data breach. This attack resulted from a massive breach involving the hacking of 16 different websites and stealing information from 617 million accounts.

Even though the breach occurred in December 2018, hackers sold the compromised information on the dark web months later. Some stolen data included usernames, email addresses, passwords, and geolocations. This data breach affected 162 million records.

Under Armour

Another company that experienced a massive data breach was Under Armour. The fitness clothing company experienced its breach after hackers gained access to the backend database from its app MyFitnessPal. Like the accounts with Dubsmash, hackers retrieved the email addresses, usernames, and passwords of account holders. The confidential information of 143.6 million people was compromised.

Social Media Giant Facebook Suffered Multiple Breaches

Over the past ten years, Facebook has dealt with several data breaches. One of the company’s largest data breaches occurred two years ago. This data breach compromised 530 million accounts. Hackers took advantage of a vulnerability to scrape user profiles when syncing contacts. This exposed them to millions of customer data.

Even though the company states that no data was vulnerable, millions of users’ names, passwords, and phone numbers were temporarily public. Third parties had enough time to gain access to this information. 

Handling Data Breaches in the Future

Small, medium, and large businesses can benefit from a recovery plan in the event of a data breach. Because cybersecurity issues are on the rise, proactive businesses who create a plan that protect themselves from data breaches will also protect their customers and bottom lines. All businesses need IT services that can manage and protect the business’s data with the best security features.

Do not allow a data breach to ruin your client loyalty or business reputation. Take the necessary steps to protect your customer information from a data breach.

Connect With an IT Specialist Today

Russel Nicolet, founder & president of Nicolet Tech, Inc.

You can never treat your company’s secure and confidential information too carefully in today’s high-tech world. Consult an experienced IT professional today to receive the strongest IT services for your business.


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