Nearly 50 percent of Americans were hacked in the last year

The Ponemon Institute created a report that showed how many accounts were hacked and how many cyber attacks were launched over the past year. Based on the data found, 110 million Americans, which is nearly 50 of US adults, had their personal information hacked and compromised over the previous 12 months.

This report which was tallied in conjunction with CNN Money also revealed that hackers accessed 432 million accounts online. Some of these compromises were merely accounts on websites, providing information such as names, ages and phone numbers. Other accounts that were hacked contained much more serious information such as  credit card numbers, addresses and security questions. Such compromises in security can have serious repercussions on those affected when accounts are hacked

However, it should be noted that these figures are not exactly perfect. The numbers for people who were hacked are ultimately estimates and the information was found through corporate disclosure. Some websites such as eBay and AOL are less transparent, which means the number of successful hacks will ultimately be warped. Though even with these details, the numbers provide a solid indication of how many people can and have been hacked.

The reason why so many hacking attempts have been made recently have been attributed to two main reasons. These are the increasing dependency of not only US consumers, but people from many western nations on internet based transactions and the sophistication of the newest generation of hackers. Brendan Hanningan, the head of IBM’s security devision spoke with CNN Money and said, “Now attacks are very focused. There are teams of them and they create malware to attack specific organizations.”

The Heartbleed Bug caused online security to become a major concern among many people. The OpenSSL vulnerability opened up the floodgates, allowing hackers to access the information of most internet users providing they are skilled enough. Many websites invest a great amount of time and money into security. Unfortunately, hackers are typically one step ahead and many websites still operate with vulnerabilities. These statistics are very daunting and are a warning sign to all people that internet security matters.

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