Daily Management Review

United States recorded a sharp increase in number of identity thefts


01/30/2017


2016 brought a record number of cases of mass identity theft in the US - 1093. This is 40% higher than a year earlier.



According to report of ID Theft Resource Center (ITRC) and CyberScout company, over 36.6 million documents were exposed in the past year as a result of 1093 hacker attacks. ITRC experts explain that such a significant increase could be partly attributed to the fact that local and federal governments now less often hide cases of hacks and data theft.

Studies show that most cases of identity theft related to the business sphere (494, or 45.3% of all cases). At that, the lawbreakers smuggled 5.6 million documents, and it is only 15.5% of all stolen documents.

Health sector and social security, which accounted for 376 cases of theft (34.4%), were the second most popular among criminals in the past year. However, number of stolen data in this sector ranks first – there were 15.9 million documents (43.6%). This is not surprising, since the sector holds data on social security of citizens.

The third place is occupied by the educational services sector - 98 cases (9%), more than 1 million documents (2.9% of the total) stolen. 13.8 million documents (6.6%) as a result of 72 crimes were stolen from government agencies and military departments. Banks and financial institutions - 52 cases of theft (4.8%), 72 thousand compromised documents (0.2%) – complete the list. 

Skimming and phishing were the most popular data theft methods in the last year. They accounted for 55.5% of all such crimes. Compared to 2015, use of these methods of theft has increased by 17.7%.

ITRC’s Experts also note growth of cases of so-called spear-fishing, where a company's employees or employees of any organization are getting mail ostensibly on behalf of their leadership with a request for confidential information. Since the beginning of last year to February, number of such attacks has increased by 400%.

All other types of data leakage (disclosure of insider information, inadvertent disclosure of contents of e-mails, improper destruction of important documents, negligence of employees, ordinary theft, and so on) occurred much less frequently than those mentioned above.

"Hackers and thieves of personal data continue to improve their skills. They are very advanced, creative and very persistent in their activities. More than half of the cases are related to theft of the keys to all locks - social security numbers, - said Chairman of board of directors and CyberScout’s founder Adam Levin. Numbers of credit and debit cards can be changed, but the social security number will not. Therefore, continuous monitoring and security measures are in this case more important than ever."

source: pymnts.com






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