Data Breaches Affected 18.5 Million Californians in 2013
Nearly half of California’s residents were affected by data breaches and cyber intrusions in 2013, a staggering seven-fold increase from the previous year.
According to a new report issued by Kamala Harris, the state’s Attorney General, the personal information of approximately 18.5 million Californians was hacked last year. There were 2.5 million accounts which were hacked in 2012.
Harris estimated that as many as one-third of those people will become victims of fraud.
There were a total of 167 different breaches in the state during 2013, compared to 131 breaches in 2012.
Massive breaches at Target and Living Social each affected nearly 7 1/2 million Californians. There would have been a 35% increase in affected residents even if these two hacks did not occur.
More than half of the 2013 breaches (53%) were caused by computer intrusions (malware and hacking). The remaining breaches resulted from physical loss or theft of laptops or other devices containing unencrypted personal information (26%), unintentional errors (18%) and intentional misuse by insiders (4%).