The Data Breaches That Shook The World In 2016

The Data Breaches That Shook The World In 2016

It seems that every year that goes by, the number of data breaches multiply by a significant degree. This is certainly the cause for 2016, as more than 3.1 billion records went missing. Below, we are going to take a look at some of the biggest data breaches of 2016.


The year got off to a bad start, with a number of high-profile data breaches occurring, leading to way over 57 million records stolen. The spotlight was on the UK’s second largest supermarket, Asda, as it was reported that their online store had been exposing payment details for almost two years. Etihad Airways had only just learnt of a potential data breach that occurred in 2013, and Wendy’s fast food chain was also investigating a possible credit card breach. And, this is only the beginning… $6 million worth of Bitcoin was stolen from Cryptsy, €50 million was stolen from aerospace parts manufacturer FACC, and US health insurer Centene lost 950,000 people’s records.


Things couldn’t get much worse, and in February it quietened down – well, if you can call it ‘quiet’ – there were still numerous high-profile breaches. A ransomware attack left Lincolnshire Council using pen and paper, after it shut down their systems. Linux Mint was hacked after a lone attacker created a botnet, the details of 304,189 Chilean citizens looking for state benefits were stolen by a group of hacktivists called Chilean Hackers, and a hacker leaked over 9,000 people’s details from the Department of Homeland Security in the U.S.


March was another bad month, with over 20 million records stole in high profile cases. Cyber criminals stole $25 million from Russian banks via a phishing attack while Rosen Hotel chain discovered that credit card stealing malware had been attacking their systems for 17 months. Outdoor equipment retailer Bailey’s Inc. also suffered a breach, with 250,000 people potentially having their card details stolen. Plus, all those employed at Tidewater Community College in 2015 discovered they might have been impacted by a spear phishing scam.


April was the worst month yet, with over 166 million records stolen. This was the month that the Trump Hotel chain suffered yet another data breach, leaked the data of 1.1 million ‘elite’ daters, which ended up being for sale, and 93.4 million Mexicans were at risk after a voter database breach. Seven million members were impacted by the Minecraft community lifeboat breach, CoinWallet Bitcoin trader was forced to shut down following an incident, and an ex-employee caused ShapeShift to lose $230,000 in another Bitcoin data breach.


Surprise, surprise, the news does not get any better for May. This was the month when Tumblr and MySpace were hit by a huge breach, with hundreds of millions of hacked account details for sale online. In fact, it was a bad month for social networking in general, as 117 million hacked LinkedIn email addresses and passwords were also put up for sale. Japanese ATMs suffered a hit, with 1.4 billion Yen stolen from 1,400 ATMs. A data spill from a test server put Kiddicare customers at risk, and EPISD employee accounts were hacked, with money stolen.


More than half a million intimate messages were exposed from dating website, Muslim Match, in June 2016. If that wasn’t enough, 51 million iMesh passwords were dumped online, 45 million records from over 110 communities and domains were leaked, and 77,000 accounts of State Farm were leaked as a consequence of a DAC Group Hack.


In July, patients of Athens Orthopaedic Clinic were notified of a breach. They weren’t the only ones: more than 10 million customers were impacted by a data breach at a leading online shop in South Korea. The online voter registration portal in Illinois was hacked, with information compromised, and an email scam impacted King’s University College, impacting 451 students.


August was another bad month for fans of Minecraft, as data for six million gamers was stolen from servers. It was also a bad time for the healthcare industry, as patients of Dominican Hospital ended up transmitted to an incorrect health plan and SCAN Health Plan notified members that there had been unauthorised access to their information. China’s National Defense University (NDU) revealed that their computer system had been hacked, and Epic’s forum was hacked again, with more than 800,000 usernames and email addresses stolen.


You guessed it; September brought another wave of data breaches. The login details for 800,000 Brazzers users were leaked while 98 million accounts were leaked from, a Russian Internet giant. Florida Bar Association was hacked, with members’ data compromised. ClixSense suffered a massive attack, with the passwords, usernames, email addresses and an abundance of other personal data stolen from 2.2 million people.


As the election in the U.S. heated up, there were numerous reported of election-related data breaches. It was revealed that hackers had been stealing credit card data from the Republican website for six months. Plus, pro-Donald Trump Great America PAC erroneously published the credit card numbers and expiration dates belonging to 49 donors. The personal data of medical marijuana patients was found in a public bin; proof that traditional identity fraud is still rife. At least 58 million people had their personal data leaked on the Internet due to a breach at Modern Business Systems, an online data storage firm, and major sites, such as Spotify, AirBNB, and Twitter, ended up online after Dyn was hit by a DDoS attack.


November was a horrific month, with over 450 million records stolen. Thieves used skimmers on ATMs at four hospitals in New York City to extract credit card data. Seguin dermatology practice was hit by a ransomware attack, and more than 412million adult accounts from FriendFinder Networks were exposed, including members of,,,, and Canada’s National Defence Department also started investigating a hack of their recruiting site.


December wasn’t the season to be jolly for a lot of major companies around the world, including Yahoo. The tech giant suffered a huge data breach, with its billion account database for sale on the black market. Credit card data was stolen from Japanese hosting company Kagoya, and loyalty members of KFC’s Colonel Club were warned of a data breach after the company’s website was hacked. Dailymotion also suffered a hit, with 85 million login details stolen.