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.
HM Revenue & Customs
News broke in November 2007 that two computer discs holding personal information on 25 million British citizens -- all UK families with children under 16 -- had been lost in the mail. The data included the families' names, addresses, National Insurance number, and in some cases bank information. The discs had been sent by courier via the HMRC's internal mail system, and the agency initially tried to blame a worker for not following procedure. The worker argued that sending such packages that way was common, and soon other incidents of data lost the same way were revealed.