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The Worst Data Breaches of the Past: PWNED Edition

This list of the worst data breaches of 2014 isn’t even going to include the Sony Hack. It was just the sexiest hack of the year, with Hollywood celebrities and world-stage drama. The real worst data breaches of 2014 involved your information, credit card data, and personal details. Read about them below.

The Worst Data Breaches of 2014

The Michael’s data breach

worst data beaches 2014 michaelsMichael’s had to be the lamest of all data breaches. Who wants to steal from a bunch of crafters and a few artists? What kind of money do they have?

Kidding aside, over 3 million of their customers had their credit card and debit card information stolen back in January of 2014. On top of this, their subsidiary store, Aaron Brothers Framing, had another 400,000 payment records compromised.

It was reported that very sophisticated malware was used to hack into their payment system. I don’t know, that sounds like a whole lot of work to piss on artists and grandmothers looking for a hobby.

LivingSocial’s profiles breached

2014 iving social hack data breachHackers stole the names, email addresses, birthdays, and worst of all, encrypted passwords from over 50 million LivingSocial users back in April 2014. That’s a whole lot of sign in data.

While no credit or debit card information was stolen, passwords can be used in combination with email addresses at all sorts of online stores. It was advised that anyone using LivingSocial should change any passwords on any website that had shared passwords. I recommend using a password manager so that all of your passwords are unique.

The Home Depot suffers a payment system hack

home depot data breach 2014Home Depot reported a payment system hack back in September 2014. 56 million debit/credit card records were stolen. The theory was that malware was installed on the payment systems themselves.

Unlike Target last year, who suffered customer trust loss and dipping profits, Home Depot’s profits increased by 20 percent. Go figure.

eBay gets flayed

ebay hack 2014One of the world’s largest retailers should really take better care of customer data, but in May of 2014 hackers stole usernames, and encrypted emails and passwords. The company asked all of their 145 million users to change their passwords as a precaution. The exact number of accounts that were compromised was never released.

This is not a case where a VPN could have protected you. However, in the case of man-in-the-middle attacks, having a VPN provider is your best bet against having your password stolen.

P.F. Chang’s gets a notice from the Secret Service

pf chang data breachI can’t think of a time when I’d ever want to hear from the Secret Service, unless it’s to meet the President. But in June of 2014 the head office at P.F. Chang’s was notified of a security breach at 33 of its 211 locations.

The current thinking is that malware was used to steal the credit/debit card numbers and expiration dates, and names of customers who dined at the restaurant. No data was given as to how many people were impacted, but the estimated timeframe for the theft was over an 8 month period prior to the notification.

Snapchat users have their stupid photos exposed

snapchat data breach 2014This one wasn’t so much damaging as it was embarrassing. The Snapchat data breach in October 2014 consisted of 98,000 completely silly and pointless files being uploaded to The Pirate Bay. A few nudes and sexual photos were also uploaded to 4chan and Reddit, but those were deleted as most Snapchat users are under 18 years old.

Snapchat themselves blamed third-party apps for the breach. They never named a specific app that was to blame. For real though, why do you need a third-party app for Snapchat? You take the photo, you send it, over. Anyway…

JPMorgan Chase gets MEGA-PWNED

jpmorgan hackI saved the best for last when JPMorgan Chase saw 76 million individuals, and 8 million small businesses, have their data stolen. The data stolen was mostly names, phone numbers, and addresses. They said that all social security numbers, and banking information, was safe. Either way, it’s a bank and we all expect better from someone whose only job is to protect our money.

How the hackers got in, it is believed, was through gaining root access to a number of JPMorgan servers. Many were shocked by this as it was believed they had exceptional online security measures. But as WarGames taught us many years ago:

Hey, I don't believe that any system is totally secure
So profoundly worded…

 

Feature image via Rawpixel / Shutterstock

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