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February 13, 2015

Hacking Incidents See Major Spike In 2014: Report

Identity, Not Financial Information, Most Sought After By Hackers

It’s hard to figure out what’s more frightening, the increase in the number of data breaches last year or what it is hackers are now seeking.

gemalto-logo-fullcol-lr1-1Actually, both bits of information are pretty intimidating and they’re contained in a new report from Netherlands-based firm Gemalto. The exhaustive report delves into security breaches from 2014 and notes they increased nearly 50 percent last year with one┬ábillion data records compromised in 1,500 attacks. That, The Wall Street Journal reports, represents a 78 percent increase compared to figures from 2013.

If those figures aren’t enough to raise concerns, it’s the hackers’ change in strategy and objectives which should be raising more eyebrows.

Gemalto’s report, explained CNet, shows hackers are now targeting individuals with more than half (54 percent) of hacking events focussing on identity theft. It’s a much larger figure than the 17 percent aimed at gaining financial data.

“We’re clearly seeing a shift in the tactics of cyber-criminals, with long-term identity theft becoming more of a goal than the immediacy of stealing a credit card number,” Tsion Gonen, vice-president of strategy for identity and data protection at Gemalto, said in a press release.

“Identity theft could lead to the opening of new fraudulent credit accounts, creating false identities for criminal enterprises, or a host of other serious crimes. As data breaches become more personal, we’re starting to see that the universe of risk exposure for the average person is expanding.”


W. Brice McVicar is a staff writer for SiteProNews.