Data breach


Data breach

A data breach is the intentional or unintentional release of secure information to an untrusted environment. Other terms for this phenomenon include unintentional information disclosure, data leak and also data spill. Incidents range from concerted attack by black hats with the backing of organized crime or national governments to careless disposal of used computer equipment or data storage media. Definition "A data breach is a security incident in which sensitive, protected or confidential data is copied, transmitted, viewed, stolen or used by an individual unauthorized to do so." Data breaches may involve financial information such as credit card or bank details, personal health information (PHI), Personally identifiable information (PII), trade secrets of corporations or intellectual property. According to the nonprofit consumer organization Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, a total of 227,052,199 individual records containing sensitive personal information were involved in security breaches in the United States between January 2005 and May 2008, excluding incidents where sensitive data was apparently not actually exposed.[1]

Contents

Definition

This may include incidents such as theft or loss of digital media such as computer tapes, hard drives, or laptop computers containing such media upon which such information is stored unencrypted, posting such information on the world wide web or on a computer otherwise accessible from the Internet without proper information security precautions, transfer of such information to a system which is not completely open but is not appropriately or formally accredited for security at the approved level, such as unencrypted e-mail, or transfer of such information to the information systems of a possibly hostile agency, such as a competing corporation or a foreign nation, where it may be exposed to more intensive decryption techniques.[2]

Trusted environment

The notion of a trusted environment is somewhat fluid. The departure of a trusted staff member with access to sensitive information can become a data breach if the staff member retains access to the data subsequent to termination of the trust relationship. In distributed systems, this can also occur with a breakdown in a web of trust.

Data privacy

Most such incidents publicized in the media involve private information on individuals, i.e. social security numbers, etc.. Loss of corporate information such as trade secrets, sensitive corporate information, details of contracts, etc. or of government information is frequently unreported, as there is no compelling reason to do so in the absence of potential damage to private citizens, and the publicity around such an event may be more damaging than the loss of the data itself.

Consequences

Although such incidents pose the risk of identity theft or other serious consequences, in most cases there is no lasting damage; either the breach in security is remedied before the information is accessed by unscrupulous people, or the thief is only interested in the hardware stolen, not the data it contains. Nevertheless, when such incidents become publicly known, it is customary for the offending party to attempt to mitigate damages by providing to the victims subscription to a credit reporting agency, for instance.

Major incidents

Well known incidents include:

2011

  • In April 2011, Sony experienced a data breach within their Playstation Network. It is estimated that the information of 100 million users was compromised.

2009

  • In December 2009 a RockYou! password database was breached containing 32 million user names and plaintext passwords, further compromising the use of weak passwords for any purpose.
  • In January 2009 Heartland Payment Systems announced that it had been "the victim of a security breach within its processing system", possibly part of a "global cyber fraud operation".[3] The intrusion has been called the largest criminal breach of card data ever, with estimates of up to 100 million cards from more than 650 financial services companies compromised.[4]

2008

2007

2006

2005

References

External links


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • data breach — UK US noun [C] ► an occasion when private information can be seen by people who should not be able to see it: » The depth and breadth of the bank account data breach is shocking, the governor said in the statement …   Financial and business terms

  • personal data breach — asmens duomenų saugumo pažeidimas statusas Aprobuotas sritis elektroniniai ryšiai apibrėžtis Pažeidimas, dėl kurio atsitiktinai arba neteisėtai sunaikinami, prarandami, pakeičiami, be asmens sutikimo atskleidžiami asmens duomenys arba sudaroma… …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)

  • Data erasure — (also called data clearing or data wiping) is a software based method of overwriting data that completely destroys all electronic data residing on a hard disk drive or other digital media. Permanent data erasure goes beyond basic file deletion… …   Wikipedia

  • Data spill — is a somewhat ironic term, derived from such phrases as oil spill, toxic or hazardous waste spill, etc. , for the unintentional release of secure information to an insecure environment. Other terms for this type of incident are data breach, data… …   Wikipedia

  • Data loss prevention software — Data Loss Prevention (DLP) is a computer security term referring to systems that identify, monitor, and protect data in use (e.g. endpoint actions), data in motion (e.g. network actions), and data at rest (e.g. data storage) through deep content… …   Wikipedia

  • Data loss prevention products — Data Loss Prevention (DLP) is a computer security term referring to systems designed to detect and prevent the unauthorized transmission of information from the computer systems of an organization to outsiders. It is also referred to by various… …   Wikipedia

  • Data integrity — in its broadest meaning refers to the trustworthiness of system resources over their entire life cycle. In more analytic terms, it is the representational faithfulness of information to the true state of the object that the information represents …   Wikipedia

  • Data General — Industry Computer Fate Acquired Successor EMC Corporation Founded 1968 …   Wikipedia

  • Data security — is the means of ensuring that data is kept safe from corruption and that access to it is suitably controlled. Thus data security helps to ensure privacy. It also helps in protecting personal data. Data security is part of the larger practice of… …   Wikipedia

  • Data protection (privacy) laws in Russia — is a rapidly developing branch of the Russian legislation. All the basic legal acts in this field have been enacted most recently, mainly in the 2005 2006. The present article is an attempt to summarise the substance and main principles of the… …   Wikipedia