Guest Post: Over 5 billion personal records were leaked in Q1 of 2021 Says Atlas VPN

Data breaches happen when cybercriminals find weaknesses in huge companies’ databases with your sensitive information that can be sold online.

According to the recent Atlas VPN findings, over 5 billion data records have already been leaked in 2021. One of the reasons for such a high number is the Compilation of Many Breaches (COMB) which compromised about 3.27 billion data records alone.

February was the worst month in records lost, as there were 12 breaches and 3.4 billionpersonal records were leaked which is more than half compared to the total amount. March has been the quietest month in terms of cyberattacks. Only 7 breaches exposing 153 millionpersonal records took place in March.

According to cybersecurity writer and researcher at Atlas VPN Anton Petrov: 

“Cybercriminals search for vulnerabilities or take advantage of misconfigurations to break into databases. We would like to believe that companies hire cybersecurity teams that do their best to prevent cyberattacks, but sometimes vulnerabilities are overlooked. It would be much more effective to test your cybersecurity before an attacker does it for you.”

Most significant breaches of 2021

Cybercriminals indeed did not hold back in the first quarter of this year. To better understand data breaches, let us talk about the ones that exposed the most sensitive information.

COMB is considered one of the biggest data breaches of all time exposing 3.27 billionpersonal records. It is made up of email and password combinations that have already been leaked before.

The second significant breach this year came from Facebook. A total of 533 million users were affected, which is about one-fifth of the entire social network’s user pool.

Another impactful breach happened to a popular Iranian business and social messenger —Raychat. The breach exposed its entire database of 267 million accounts with names, emails, passwords, metadata, and encrypted chats.

The largest personal data leakage in Brazilian history happened in January, affecting 220 million people. Serasa, which belongs to the UK-listed Experian, the world’s largest credit data group, suffered from this cyberattack.

Also worth mentioning is more than 200 million record leaks of Chinese citizens. Researchers from Cyble, a cybercrime monitoring company, discovered this exposed data for sale on the dark web.

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