Nowadays, it seems like there's always a new data breach in the news, and then the companies and affected users go through the same old routine. Company X was breached months ago, found out about it, determined that an obscene number of users were compromised, and are now disclosing it to those users. It's a tired story, and usually ends the same way: the company apologizes while all but denying the part they played in being breached, and promises to change their protocols to ensure that it never happens again. They might even offer you free credit monitoring services for a year after the fact. As for the consumer, however, they have their personal information sold on the Dark Web months afterwards, and now have to deal with real damage to their personal lives, finances, and even their businesses.
2005 was the first year wherein a single breach compromised over 1,000,000 credit cards were compromised. Fast forward to the 2017 Equifax breach, where over 145 MILLION social security numbers, driver's license numbers, and other personal tidbits were compromised. Now, less than 2 years later, there are hackers selling data collections that get as large as 620,000,000 unique records, opening up users to highly targeted social engineering, phishing, and malware attacks. While not all of the data is necessarily useful, cybercriminals are nothing if not resourceful, and will find a way to get their ill-gotten gains no matter what.
To read more, see the full article on BitDefender's blog below.