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The biggest recent data breach might have cost $58 billion to resolve


A data leak is a power leak, VPN provider Surfshark claims in its latest report about the most significant data breaches over the last two years in each vital sector.

“More of humanity’s records are held by fewer people than ever before,” researcher Aaron Bornstein points out. Cybercriminals exploit sensitive data to their benefit, it can be handed over to the government for surveillance, and it can cost billions of dollars to fix the leak.

According to Surfshark, the biggest breach of all was when Thailand’s most extensive cellphone network, AIS, accidentally left a database of eight billion real-time internet records on show. It may have cost $58 billion to resolve.

The most expensive app data breach is the hack of the Iranian customer support messaging platform Raychat. A misconfigured database exposed upwards of 150m records, including names, emails, passwords, metadata, and encrypted chats. This would cost an estimated $1bn + change to rectify.

In the retail sector, the cosmetics company Estee Lauder (4.4bn records) faced a potential $3.07 billion bill. But the security researcher who discovered the leak, Jeremiah Fowler, had trouble getting through on the phone to tell them. “When I call a company or organization, the first thing I ask is ‘who can I speak with to report a data incident,’” Fowler told Forbes.

In the gaming industry, the Roblox hack happened when an employee accepted a bribe to open up the game’s back-end customer support panel for the hacker. Compromised accounts included that of Linkmon99, the world’s ‘richest’ Roblox player. Roblox faced a potential $700 million bill.

In the tech sector, The Keepnet Labs leak of June 2020 is called the “breach of breaches.” It happened when an engineer migrating records of previous leaks disabled a firewall for just ten minutes to speed up the process. The security company had five billion records stolen, resulting in an estimated price tag of over $ 34 billion.

In the healthcare industry, Apolis Pharma had over 67 million records stolen, at an estimated cost of $473 million. Like the Keepnet breach, the Apodis Pharma data was left open to the public, and evidence suggests ‘malicious actors’ must have accessed it while possible.

In the financial sector, Experian Brazil, a consumer credit reporting company, had over 220 million records stolen. This could have cost the company over $1,5 million.

In the academic sector, under the UK’s Conservative government, the details of 28 million children and students from the national Learning Records Service ended up in the hands of “a major data intelligence company” which used the details to verify the age of young online gamblers. This could have cost $258 million to address.

Recently, Surfshark launched Nexus Network, designed to connect users to not only one server but an entire network of servers and then routes them to a chosen location. It will help optimize user traffic to be faster, more stable, increasingly secure, and private.


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