This 'world's biggest data breaches' infographic is terrifying

Summary:Yet beautiful.

We've covered a great deal of the major data breaches experienced by enterprises over the last decade or so—Sony, the South Korean government , Nvidia , Honda —but there's nothing quite like looking at them together, visualized.

David McCandless, Tom Evans, Miriam Quick, Ella Hollowood, Christian Miles and Dan Hampson did just that over at Information is Beautiful, and I find the result sobering, reassuring and terrifying all at once.

Sobering, because no type of company appears to be safe from a data breach.

Reassuring, because you'd think there would be more of them in nine years' time.

Terrifying, because then you realize that the researchers only included breaches of more than 30,000 records—about the population of Juneau, the capital of Alaska—and only public ones at that. What's more, they seem to be increasing in recent years. Yeesh.

The infographic is interactive, and I encourage you to check it out and read about each particular breach. (Needless to say, it was a tough middle-of-last-decade for AOL, and a tough start to the current one for Sony.) A fine piece of work.


The group continues to solicit additions of major breaches; you can check out the underlying data here and see if anything's missing.

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Topics: Security


Andrew Nusca is a former writer-editor for ZDNet and contributor to CNET. He is also the former editor of SmartPlanet, ZDNet's sister site about innovation. He writes about business, technology and design now but used to cover finance, fashion and culture. He was an intern at Money, Men's Vogue, Popular Mechanics and the New York Daily Ne... Full Bio

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