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March 2017: The month in hacks and breaches

News Analysis
Apr 03, 20172 mins
Data BreachSecurity

Voter records, patient data, and CIO hacking tools were among the data stolen last month.

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March came in like a lion with news breaking on March 6 that spamming operation River City Media exposed 1.34 billion email accounts, some of which included personal information including full names and addresses. How did this happen? The company failed to properly configure their Rsync backups, wrote CSO’s Steve Ragan.

Later that week, WikiLeaks released a trove of information on the CIA’s hacking tools, including descriptions of how the agency targeted iPhones, Android phones, Samsung smart TVs, and routers.

On March 17th medical records of 26 million patients at 2,700 medical practices in Britain were potentially compromised. At fault: enabling a setting that shared patient information too broadly. “Unbeknown to doctors, switching on ‘enhanced data sharing’ — so records could be seen by the local hospital — meant they can also be accessed by hundreds of thousands of workers across the country,” wrote Laura Donnelly in The Telegraph.

Lest you think the month would go out like a lamb, two laptops containing information on all of Hong Kong’s 3.7 million registered voters were stolen from a locked room on Lantau Island, the backup location for the chief executive election. “The stolen data included names, addresses and identity card numbers of voters, the office said in a statement,” according to the South China Morning Post. The Registration and Electoral Office, which reported the missing laptops, also stressed that the information was encrypted.

And that wasn’t all the news from March. Scroll down to see a timeline of last month’s hacks and breaches, compiled by application security provider Checkmarx.

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