US Encounters Most Data Breaches of All the World’s Countries, Report Says

As the United States heads toward the November elections, concerns rise about bad actors manipulating data and perpetrating fraud and theft.

Breaches of online platforms and internal data systems have risen dramatically worldwide since 2020, and the United States is by far the hardest-hit country, suffering 90,405,511 breaches in the final quarter of 2023, or 26,662 per 100,000 people.

This puts the United States ahead of even such populous nations as China, Russia, and India, which experienced 70,641,931, 50,119,934, and 17,056,018 breaches, respectively, in the same quarter.

In the first quarter of 2024, the frequency of breaches in the United States rose by 185 percent from the previous quarter, affecting 90.4 million accounts.

That’s according to a report from the cybersecurity firm Surfshark, which has tracked data breaches globally, quarter by quarter, and has found 4 billion breaches worldwide since 2020.

The report’s findings are particularly concerning as the United States prepares to head to the polls in November, as memories are still raw of bitter disputes over the integrity and accuracy of results in recent elections.

Surfshark’s report found that account breaches in the third quarter of 2023 occurred at a rate of 627 per minute, and the trend increased by 434.9 percent in the final quarter of last year. This meant that 3,353 accounts suffered breaches every minute at the hands of bad actors.

Related Stories

Lawsuit Blames Ticketmaster for Hacking Incident Involving 560 Million Users
MPs Vote Unanimously to Investigate Chinese Hacking of Parliamentarians

In all, 434.5 million account hacks and disruptions occurred in the final quarter of 2023, meaning that five out of every 100 people worldwide became victims of one or another type of breach, the report states.

The findings make the second quarter of 2023 look halcyon by comparison, with a total of 37.6 million account breaches, or 11.6 times fewer than in the final quarter of the year, according to the report.

Lina Survila, a Surfshark spokesperson, cited the incidence of 90.5 million account breaches in the United States in the first quarter of the current year and placed the figure within a trend that has accelerated rapidly since 2004. Looking at the data from that year to the present, 290 breaches have happened per minute, she said.

Exploiting Trust

Bad actors often take advantage of a lack of sophistication on the part of some users and their tendency to trust people claiming to represent legitimate organizations, even including law enforcement agencies.

The attacks on the integrity of accounts take many forms, including phishing, password theft, and the impersonation of companies and individuals, often pretending to want to assist the victim with account recovery or—in many cases—with transactions purporting to require service fees or the transfer of funds from one account to another.

Often, hackers gain access to a victim’s personal email account to commit a further breach, for example, by accessing a cryptocurrency platform on which the victim had conducted trades and investments. In a typical example of such a crime in October 2023, a senior citizen in Saskatchewan, Canada, who had utilized the crypto platform HoneyBadger, lost a fortune when a hacker got into his email account and went onto HoneyBadger to purchase large amounts of crypto—posing as the account’s legitimate user—before absconding with the stolen currency.

“This troubling data emphasizes the critical need for organizations to bolster their cyber defenses and for individuals to prioritize cybersecurity awareness,” Ms. Survila stated.

Fortunately, many law enforcement agencies are ready and willing to warn citizens about online scams and assist victims in trying to recover stolen funds.

Original News Source Link – Epoch Times

Running For Office? Conservative Campaign Consulting – Election Day Strategies!