Biggest Online Security Breaches in 2017 So Far

Worryingly, we hear about data breaches so much nowadays that we have gotten used to them. From the infamous Ashley Madison breach, where thousands of cheating partners were exposed to the TalkTalk breach, which led to youngsters being arrested, the scandals seem to get worse and worse, as cyber criminals become more sophisticated. In this post, we are going to take a look at some of the biggest data breaches to occur so far in 2017.

Debenhams Flowers – Let’s begin with a data breach that his hit the news very recently. 26,000 customers had their personal data compromised as a consequence of a cyber attack on Debenhams Flowers website. Names, addresses and payment details were taken during the incident, which targeted a third party e-commerce company, Ecomnova. At present, the Debenhams Flowers website is currently offline, as they discover more about the attack, which is believed to have taken place between February and April of this year.

Gmail – Most people reading this post will have a Gmail account, and so the phishing scam that occurred in March was a pretty big deal to say the least. Gmail users were targeted in a sophisticated scam, which saw them receive an email that appeared to come from one of the user’s trusted contacts, such as a friend or a work colleague. The email had a Google Doc attached to it, and encouraged the user to open it. However, once clicked, the link actually lead to a security page, whereby the hacker would gain control of the user’s email account. Despite the fact that Google reacted quickly and was able to stop the attack within an hour, one million users were impacted.

InterContinental Hotels Group – While email platforms and ecommerce websites only have online threats to deal with, the hospitality industry has both physical and cyber security to bear in mind. If you would like some information on the former, take a look at information provided by HS Tech Group.  The InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) breach is important because it occurred due to malware, which is running rife at the moment. In the beginning, IHG believed that 12 of its properties were impacted by the breach, which saw malware on the servers used to process payments made at on-site bars and restaurants. This meant that stolen data included internal verification codes, card numbers, expiration dates, and card numbers. However, IHG later revealed that 1,200 of their properties had been impacted by the malware attack.

E-Sports Entertainment Association (ESEA) – Last but not least, we have a breach that was announced at the very start of 2017. ESEA, which is one of the biggest video gaming communities in the world, issued a warning to all players after discovering a security incident. It was later revealed that more than 1,500,000 ESEA records were impacted by the breach, and a lot of private data was compromised in the process, including website URLs, phone numbers, birthdates, email addresses, first and last names, usernames, registration date, last login, and much more.

For more information on how you can stay safe while using the Internet, take a look at this blog post.

About Will Chatham

Will Chatham is a Cyber Security Analyst, Ethical Hacker, and Penetration Tester at a federal data center in Asheville, NC. Since Netscape 2.0, he has worked in a wide array of environments including non-profit, corporate, small business, and government. His varied background, from developer to search engine optimizer to security professional, has helped him build a wide range of skills that help those with whom he works and teaches.
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