Attacks/Breaches
11/15/2016
09:00 AM
Jai Vijayan
Jai Vijayan
Slideshows
Connect Directly
Twitter
LinkedIn
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

The 7 Most Significant Government Data Breaches

Mega compromises at federal and state agencies over the past three years has compromised everything from personal data on millions to national security secrets.
Previous
1 of 8
Next

Data maintained by Privacy Rights Clearinghouse shows that federal and state government agencies publicly disclosed a total of 203 data breaches over the past five years.

In all, the breaches resulted in nearly 47 million records being stolen, exposed or otherwise compromised. The number of breached records does not include the numerous cases where agencies either did not disclose the scope of their data breach or the actual number of records that might have been involved.

It also does not include data from incidents like Edward Snowden’s theft of classified documents from the National Security Agency (NSA) or the recently disclosed theft of 50 TB of government data by another former contractor for the NSA and other federal agencies.

In terms of raw numbers, federal and state government agencies suffereda lot fewer breaches and exposed fewer data records than private companies. PRC numbers show that between 2012 and 2016 for instance, financial and insurance companies, retailers, and other businesses disclosed some 950 breaches involving 244.5 million records.

What makes the government breaches more significant though is the kind of information involved. In a majority of cases, government breaches involved personally identifying data, such as names, Social Security numbers, and birthdates, the loss of which have substantially greater consequences for victims than breaches involving loss of credit card data or email account information. In a few cases, the breaches involved loss of top secret and highly confidential data of national security value.

Here, ranked in ascending order of severity, are seven of the most significant government data breaches of the past three years.

 

 

Jai Vijayan is a seasoned technology reporter with over 20 years of experience in IT trade journalism. He was most recently a Senior Editor at Computerworld, where he covered information security and data privacy issues for the publication. Over the course of his 20-year ... View Full Bio

Previous
1 of 8
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
ClaireEllison
50%
50%
ClaireEllison,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/21/2016 | 4:22:24 PM
Re: amazing
A great post with good questions/ But how to avoid that? I really wanted to send a small word to say thanks to you for the fantastic points you are writing on this site.
ONI SEO
50%
50%
ONI SEO,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/18/2016 | 11:34:05 AM
Mr ROBOT comes soon?
A great post with good questions/ But how to avoid that? What kind of solutions?
kbannan100
50%
50%
kbannan100,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/17/2016 | 10:59:38 PM
It's going to take a village
These breaches are just the tip of the iceberg. We all know that. One of the biggest problems is the amount of unsecured endpoints that are out there. Things like printers that aren't secured and laptops that aren't running antivirus or -- if they are -- have not been patched. It's going to take a lot more work on everyone's behalf before the good guys get ahead of the criminals. 

--Karen Bannan for IDG and HP
20 Questions to Ask Yourself before Giving a Security Conference Talk
Joshua Goldfarb, Co-founder & Chief Product Officer, IDDRA,  10/16/2017
Printers: The Weak Link in Enterprise Security
Kelly Sheridan, Associate Editor, Dark Reading,  10/16/2017
Hyatt Hit With Another Credit Card Breach
Dark Reading Staff 10/13/2017
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: This comment is waiting for review by our moderators.
Current Issue
Security Vulnerabilities: The Next Wave
Just when you thought it was safe, researchers have unveiled a new round of IT security flaws. Is your enterprise ready?
Flash Poll
The State of Ransomware
The State of Ransomware
Ransomware has become one of the most prevalent new cybersecurity threats faced by today's enterprises. This new report from Dark Reading includes feedback from IT and IT security professionals about their organization's ransomware experiences, defense plans, and malware challenges. Find out what they had to say!
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2017-0290
Published: 2017-05-09
NScript in mpengine in Microsoft Malware Protection Engine with Engine Version before 1.1.13704.0, as used in Windows Defender and other products, allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service (type confusion and application crash) via crafted JavaScript code within ...

CVE-2016-10369
Published: 2017-05-08
unixsocket.c in lxterminal through 0.3.0 insecurely uses /tmp for a socket file, allowing a local user to cause a denial of service (preventing terminal launch), or possibly have other impact (bypassing terminal access control).

CVE-2016-8202
Published: 2017-05-08
A privilege escalation vulnerability in Brocade Fibre Channel SAN products running Brocade Fabric OS (FOS) releases earlier than v7.4.1d and v8.0.1b could allow an authenticated attacker to elevate the privileges of user accounts accessing the system via command line interface. With affected version...

CVE-2016-8209
Published: 2017-05-08
Improper checks for unusual or exceptional conditions in Brocade NetIron 05.8.00 and later releases up to and including 06.1.00, when the Management Module is continuously scanned on port 22, may allow attackers to cause a denial of service (crash and reload) of the management module.

CVE-2017-0890
Published: 2017-05-08
Nextcloud Server before 11.0.3 is vulnerable to an inadequate escaping leading to a XSS vulnerability in the search module. To be exploitable a user has to write or paste malicious content into the search dialogue.