10 Massive Security Breaches
March 12, 2011 06:00 AM They make the news on a regular basis: incidents in which a company or government agency's security is breached, leading to a loss of information, personal records, or other data. There are many ways to measure the size or cost of a security breach. Some result in the loss of millions of data records, some affect millions of people, and some wind up costing the affected businesses a lot of money. Not to mention, the questions of you calculate the value of personal medical information vs. credit card numbers. Here are ten security breaches of epic scale, plus one "bonus" incident that ranks among the boneheaded moves of all time.
In June 2005, MasterCard announced that up to 40 million credit card holders were at risk of having their data stolen -- and 200,000 definitely had -- because of a Trojan on the computers of a credit card processing company. The processor, CardSystems Solutions, had improperly stored the card data, unencrypted, in order to do research on the transactions. The CardSystems chief executive admitted: "We should not have been doing that."