1.1 Billion Identities Leaked Via Data Breaches in 2016; Email Is The Biggest Malware Carrier


Hand holding mobile smart phone

Internet security firm Symantec has just released their annual ‘Internet Security Threat Report’, and there are some interesting revelations out there.

While India has been placed at #5 position globally in terms of data breach and exposed digital identities, we are ranked #2 in Asia, just behind China. This means that we are relatively safe when it comes to digital hacking and identity theft.

But, still, we have a long way to go in terms of cyber security, especially when massive Aadhaar leaks are becoming everyday stories, and when Pakistani hackers are regularly defacing our educational websites.

1.1 Billion Identities Exposed, Globally

The report found that globally, 1.1 billion identities of citizens were exposed via data breach, across various types of websites and portals.

In total, there were 1209 data breaches across the world, which resulted in the exposure of these 1.1 billion identities. Interestingly, while the number of data breaches reduced from 1211 in 2015 to 1209 in 2016, the number of identities exposed has almost doubled from 563 million in 2015 to 1.1 billion in 2016.

US is the country which experienced maximum number of data breach, as the report discovered 1023 cases of a hack, originating in US. In Russia, only two data breach were recorded, but they were massive. While the first breach resulted in exposure of 57 million emails, the second data breach caused leakage of 25 million email ids.

Data Breach

India Ranked #2 In Internet Security Threat In Asia

In terms of ‘Internet Threat Ranking’, India is placed at #5, globally, after US (1023 breaches), United Kingdom (38 breaches), Canada (19 breaches), Australia (15 breaches).

India only reported 8 data breaches, as per the report.

Thankfully, in the rank for number of identities stolen, India is not in the top 10 ranking. USA again tops this list with 791 million identities stolen, while France is at #2 and Russia at #3.

But if we talk about Asia, then India is placed at #2 position, behind China.

Email Makes A Comeback As Malware Carrier

Email, which was presumed to be dead amidst social media explosion, has made a massive comeback to become #1 source for malware.

This means that email is not dead (atleast some positive news for ‘honest’ email marketers).

As per the report, 1 out of 131 emails is bound to be malware affected or having links which lead to malware. In 2015, this figure was 1 out of 120 emails.

If we talk about India, then in 2015, 1 out of 305 mail was laced with malware, which has now doubled to 1 out of 150 emails.

As per Tarun Kaura, director, product management, Asia Pacific Japan, Symantec, IoT and Cloud Computing are the next frontiers of cyber hacking, and companies should invest more to safeguard these platforms.

You can access the complete report here.

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