Consumer Data Breaches Hit Record

Thefts, losses of confidential info has already topped 2007
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 26, 2008 9:10 AM CDT
Information from at least 45.7 million credit and debit cards was stolen over an 18-month period from databases operated by major retailers such as TJX, owners of T.J. Maxx and Marshalls.    (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)
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(Newser) – Theft or loss of confidential consumer information from computer databases is at a record high, with more breaches already this year than all of 2007, the Washington Post reports. Records reveal that 449 US businesses, government agencies and universities have reported data breaches this year, compared with 446 breaches involving 127 million consumer records last year. The loss of some 90 million consumer records last year have been linked to a single giant retailer, TJX, which operates TJ Maxx stores.

Experts believe only a fraction of security breaches are ever publicly revealed. Federal prosecutors recently announced indictments against 11 people charged with the theft of 40 million credit card numbers from nine nationwide retail chains including TJ Maxx, OfficeMax, Barnes & Noble, Sports Authority, and Boston Market.