By Brian Krebs
October 6, 2008
U.S. corporations, governments and universities reported a record 516
consumer data breaches in the first nine months of this year, incidents
prompted chiefly by hackers and employee theft, according to a report
released today by a nonprofit group that works to prevent fraud.
The Identity Theft Resource Center, of San Diego, found that this year's
data breach tally has easily eclipsed 2007's 446 incidents. At an
average of 57 caches of consumer data reported lost or stolen each
month, U.S. organizations are on track to divulge at least 680 breaches
by the end of 2008.
About 80 percent of the breaches involved digital records, while the
remainder stemmed from the loss, theft or exposure of paper-based
records. A description of each incident is available in the Identity
Theft Resource Center 's 2008 Breach List (PDF) .
Some 30 million records on consumers have been exposed so far this year.
But experts say that figure almost certainly masks a much larger
problem, as there is currently no federal requirement for organizations
that experience a data breach or loss to acknowledge precisely how many
consumers nationwide may have been affected.
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