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Passwords, Email Addresses, Were Most Stolen Data In 2015

Analysis of public data breaches finds US and UK represented more than 45% of all reported breaches last year, and major energy firms make the list of most multiple breaches.

A tally of reported data breach incidents worldwide in 2015 shows that user credentials are one of the hottest commodities bad hackers crave: some 50% of all incidents exposed passwords and email addresses.

Risk Based Security in new report also found that of the nearly 4,000 reported incidents, which exposed some 736 million data records, 40.5% occurred in US organizations, accounting for nearly 65% of the breached data for the year.

Most of the stolen data records -- some 238 million -- came from just four data breaches. Some 55% of the attacks victimized between 1 and 1,000 data records, according to Risk Based Security, which tracks reported data breaches via its proprietary application that crawls breach reports and also manually gathers information via the Open Security Foundation.

Oil companies as well as convenience stores landed in the Top 12 of companies suffering multiple incidents last year, including Shell Oil, 7-Eleven, Exxon Mobil, Circle K Convenience Stores, and Sunoco. Some of that trend had to do with a resurgence in skimming attacks on gas pumps.

Government agencies reported some 37 multiple incidents; retail, 32; and education, 27. “A staggering 142 organizations reported multiple data breaches in 2015 alone, setting another dubious record,” says Barry Kouns, CEO of Risk Based Security.

Read more from the report here.

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