How Big is a BIG Data Breach or Cyber Attack?

With Hackers and Cyber Breaches becoming increasingly complex, meticulous and difficult to foresee, there have been some significant Data Breaches in the 21st Century across the globe.

17/05/2019 – Toni Dines

The impacts and reputational and financial implications are vast, expensive and extremely damaging. There is not complete way for a large corporate entity to completely protect themselves against a data breach of Cyber-attack. There are however vital stages of consulting, review, awareness and implementation that can act as a first, second and third line of defense in such instances with insurance against losses being the fourth and final line of defense.

1st Place

The largest Data Breach of this century was hackers attacking Yahoo in 2013 and 2014. Unbelievably, over 3 Billion user accounts were breaches with very sensitive information being breached to include the users real names, email address details, passwords, dates of birth, mobile and telephone numbers. This level of data was certainly breached by 500 Million Users.

2nd Place

Between the years of 2014 and 2018 the Marriott International group experienced the breach and attack of over 500 million of their users within the group systems. Extremely sophisticated hackers actually breached a supporting system within the group that were supporting Starwood hotel brand. When Marriott acquired the Starwood hotel brand in 2016, the hackers was not uncovered until September in 2018



In October 2016, The Friend Finder Network was hacked and more than 412 Million users and their personal information was breached. Hackers attacked six databases within the group and went on to collect over 20 years of data from users which included full names, email address and passwords for the accounts.


The global known selling platform, eBay was breached in May of 2014 where 145 Million users had their data breached by Cyber attackers. It was understood that the personal names of the account users were obtained along with residential addresses, email addresses, dates of birth and encrypted passwords of all of eBay’s’ 145 Million users. Hackers solicited the log in credentials of three senior corporate employees within the business to access the data for nearly 300 days. During this time they ensured that they accessed and recorded the user database information. Fortunately for eBay, their financial information including credit card numbers, PayPal information was kept on a different system and was not impacted by the breach.