Report: Hackers stole almost half a billion personal records in 2018

February 07, 2019 08:23 AM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) -- Hackers snatched almost half a billion personal records in 2018, according to the 2018 End of Year Data Breach Report from the Identity Theft Resource Center.

The report shows hackers worldwide stole nearly 447 million consumer records containing personal information last year -- a 126 percent increase from the previous year.


The number of U.S. data breaches dropped 23 percent in 2018, but the number of records stolen still reached an all-time high.

Hackers are selling the personal information on the dark web. The dark web is basically a marketplace of illegal items like drivers licenses and health records. Depending on the type of record, hackers can get anywhere from a couple of dollars to $1,000 per record.

Right now, health records sell for the most money because of their potential to file fraudulent claims worth thousands of dollars.

Last year, several large corporations and companies admitted that personal information you trusted them with had been hacked.

Paul Robinson of GreyCastle Security says these types of attacks are common and hard to prevent, but he recommends you stay vigilant.

"It's very difficult now to avoid these attacks, even if you're taking the precautionary measures, such as managing your bank account and things of that nature," Robinson said. "Now please do that, don't neglect watching your accounts and keeping an eye on your medical records, but the horse has left the barn per se."

Strong and unique passwords for each of your accounts can reduce your risk of getting hacked. Also, you can set up security alerts on your bank account and credit report so that you get notifications of new transactions to avoid surprises.


Kaci Jones

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