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Dozens of data breaches, millions affected
During 2012, almost every industry -- from banking to insurance, government departments and even security companies that help to protect against such attacks -- were hacked or breached and vast amounts of data siphoned off from company networks.
Many of the successful attacks came from those part of or connected with hacking collective Anonymous, but not all. From Social Security record breaches to a year of poor company policies on password and user details protection, along with massive hacking attacks that gave the ordinary citizen an insight into the shady private intelligence world, here's a look back at some of the major hacks, leaks and breaches of the year.
January: Symantec Norton source code theft
In January, hackers breached a network belonging to the Indian intelligence service and acquired a vast amount of Symantec's Norton anti-virus source code. It was subsequently posted on Pastebin, often used by hackers to post leak data and source code anonymously.
Symantec was quick to state that the source code does not reflect the firm's current work. By analyzing the anti-malware source code, malware writers would be able to find weaknesses in order to bypass the software and hijack machines for malicious purposes. It's understood that the Indian authorities intended to inspect the source code, which was stolen from an insecure network.
24 million affected by Zappos hack
Online retail store Zappos suffered a significant data breach that exposed the accounts of about 24 million. Security experts thought it was the largest consumer data breach of 2012.
Amazon.com-owned Zappos said hackers attacked an internal corporate network through a Kentucky-based server, and swiped customer account information, including email addresses, the last four-digits of credit card details, and cryptographically scrambled passwords.