Security Researchers Say Over 5 Billion User Records Were Leaked During Q1 2021 Breaches

over 5 billion records have been leaked so far this year
Given that data leaks are occurring even more frequently these days, it is a matter of when, not if, your information makes it to the open web. Cybercriminals are constantly on the prowl looking for a new way to make a quick buck, and clearly the system is working for them. New data reports that over 5 billion records were lost to leaks through March, with 3.27 billion of them from one massive set of data alone.

According to data collected by Hackmageddon and compiled by AtlasVPN, the five billion records lost came from an outstanding 42 different breaches across January, February, and March. Of those months, January was the busiest with a total of 23 breaches, whereas March was the meekest with only seven breaches that still exposed 153 million records. However, neither of these months is when the greatest number of records made it to the web, as that record goes to February.

chart over 5 billion records have been leaked so far this year
Chart Courtesy Of AtlasVPN And Hackmageddon

In February, roughly 3.4 billion records were leaked across 12 different breaches, though one breach takes the cake for that month. The Combination of Many Breaches, or COMB, exposed 3.27 billion records on a popular hacking forum. It contained email and password combinations that have been leaked before, such as those from Netflix and LinkedIn, but it was all included in an interactive database. Whether you consider this a new breach or not, in second place is the Facebook breach with 533 million users affected, which is “about one-fifth of the entire social network’s user pool,” as AtlasVPN reports.

Though it has not been a great year overall in terms of cybersecurity, and with new breaches popping up such as the PasswordState leak, perhaps things will get turned around in the coming months. All companies should heed this data as a warning to harden their defenses, especially if they have any customer or consumer data.