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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.
February: Statfor hacked, Anonymous hands emails to Wikileaks
Loose-knitted hacking collective Anonymous successfully attacked Stratfor, a private U.S. intelligence firm, and swiped around five million emails. The data was then handed to Wikileaks for later publication. The email cache included invoices and details of sources connected to news media outlets, and employees of governments located around the world.
Once the full email cache was released, a controversy began when a number of Western Allied governments were accused of using TrapWire surveillance software. It was an overblown fear, not quite the 'global network of cameras' as suggested by a number of media outlets, but was nonetheless a potentially liberty-infringing network.
March: Global Payments hacked; MasterCard, Visa customers affected
MasterCard and Visa customers were warned after a massive data breach that affected more than 1.5 million credit and debit card owners. While a hacker initially claimed responsibility for the data breach, it was quickly debunked by a source within the banking industry speaking to ZDNet.
Global Payments, the company that was hit by the data breach, explained that only credit card numbers -- not names, addresses, or Social Security numbers -- but would ultimately cost the card processing firm around $84 million to clean up.