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Data Breaches Up 2% This Year, Without Counting Ashley Madison

The latest report from the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) reveals that there has been a total of 494 data breaches recorded through August 18, 2015, and nearly 140 million records have been exposed. The annual total includes 21.5 million records exposed in the attack on the U.S. Office of Personnel Management in June and 78.8 million health care customer records exposed at Anthem in February.

The totals do not include the data breach at Ashley Madison website that apparently has added records for about 37 million registered users to the year’s count. The data was stolen less than a month ago by a group called the Impact Team, which threatened to reveal the data unless the site was shut down. The revealed records are said to include credit card details, addresses, phone numbers and names of Ashley Madison users.

Brian Krebs at Krebsonsecurity said Wednesday that there are “precious few details in [the released records]” to prove that they were indeed stolen from Ashley Madison. The company has said that it has seen no indications that the released files are genuine.

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Here is a rundown of the ITRC report for past week.

The total number of data breaches increased by 22 in the week, according to the ITRC. The business sector accounts for about 760,000 exposed records in 199 incidents so far in 2015. That represents 39.4% of the incidents, but just 0.5% of the exposed records.

The medical/health care sector posted the second-largest percentage of the total breaches so far this year, 34.9% (176) out of the total of 494. The number of records exposed in these breaches totaled 109.6 million, or 78.4% of the total so far in 2015.

The number of banking/credit/financial breaches totals 47 for the year to date and involves more than 411,000 records, some 9.3% of the total number of breaches and 0.3% of the records exposed.

The government/military sector has suffered 39 data breaches so far this year, just 7.7% of the total, but slightly more than 20% of the total number of records exposed. Nearly 110 million records have been compromised in the government/military sector so far in 2015.

The educational sector has seen 44 data breaches in 2015, accounting for 8.7% of all breaches for the year. More than 740,000 records have been exposed, about 0.5% of the total so far in 2015.

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In all of 2014, ITRC tracked an annual record number of 783 data breaches, up 27.5% year over year. The previous high was 662 breaches in 2010. Since beginning to track data breaches in 2005, ITRC had counted 5,497 breaches through August 11, 2015, involving more than 818 million records. Compared with 2014, the number of data breaches is about 2.2% higher to date in 2015.

By Paul Ausick