The biggest security breaches of 2015

The biggest security breaches of 2015

The year 2015 will be remembered for many things, including a surprise election victory for the Conservatives, terrorist attacks in Paris and a dress that nobody could decide whether it was white and gold or blue and black. For businesses, though, 2015 will be remembered as the year of the security breach.

Countless companies – both large and small – fell victim to cyberattacks over the past 12 months, which caused irrevocable damage to the brand and the bottom line.

Among the biggest was TalkTalk, which saw a major incident affect nearly 157,000 of its four million customers. Of these, more than 15,600 had their bank account numbers and sort codes stolen. In a bid to repay those who had their details taken, TalkTalk announced a package of free upgrades, such as Sky Sports access for three months or a free SIM card that offers 100 minutes, 250 texts and 250MB per month for a year.

A similar hack to the Ashley Madison dating website gained the most notoriety of all the 2015 security breaches, perhaps because of its subject matter. As allows married individuals to arrange affairs, there was significantly less sympathy for those affected in this breach. Also interesting was the data stolen, not just email addresses but full names, street addresses, telephone numbers and even sexual predilections.

British Gas was another big name that fell victim of the cybercriminals, when in October “someone external” gained information. The company maintained, however, that its systems were secure, meaning the 2,200 account passwords and email addresses could have emerged from a phishing scam.

The Christmas party season started with a bang for pub chain JD Wetherspoon, but for all the wrong reasons. The personal details of around 657,000 customers were stolen from an old version of the company website. In among this were the credit card details of 100 customers who purchased vouchers online.

Marks and Spencer, meanwhile, forced its own site down after more than 800 customers complained of seeing other people’s information upon logging into their accounts. When the point was raised on Facebook, M&S blocked off the site to rectify the issue and limit any damage. After two and a half hours the site returned and customers were assured their data was safe.



Click image to enlarge

Published On: January 19, 2016/By /Categories: All news items, Internet, Security, Web Privacy/
Go to Top