Verizon just put out its annual Data Breach Investigations Report, and you can probably guess what it says: 2011 was a banner year for hackers, and represented a huge statistical comeback. They compromised a total of 174 million records, 100 million of those in activism/for-the-lulz ops by Anon, Lulzsec, and friends.
2011 in a nutshell, for the hacking community: The Sony bonanza went on and on, Anon and Lulzsec tore up everyone in sight, and we got the best-worst hacker rap video in recent memory. Pretty solid year, right? Well yes, for everyone but the folks who were counting on hackers to stay as boring as they had been.
Verizon had hoped that the number of occurrences was on a permanent downward trend: After the total number of compromised records climbed year after year to a crazy 361 million in 2008, it dropped to 144 million in 2009 and just 4 million in 2010. That was while increasing the data sample, too.
Mitigating the crazy-high percentage of benevolent, well-intentioned breaches is the fact that almost 75 percent of the time, victims were warned ahead of time that they were about to be obliterated.