The Life Cycle of a Data Breach

2016 has witnessed an exponential growth in data breach incidents. These incidents led to the compromise of various user details, including email addresses, passwords, usernames, full names, phone numbers and much more. These login credentials, which in many cases were reused on multiple platforms and services, were stolen from social network websites, such as LinkedIn, Tumblr, VK, gaming platforms, adult content websites, and others. While closely monitoring activities on closed sources where many of the leaked databases are offered for sale, we noticed a pattern – data stolen years ago is only now being offered for sale.

This delay reveals an interesting process regarding many high-profile data breaches. It could be described as a cycle, or rather a self-sustaining cycle (see the infographic below), as the two last stages in which the hacking communities process the data and utilize it to execute a new attack, are essentially the first stages for a new breach. In terms of executing cyber-attacks, exploiting leaked credentials is one of the main techniques used by attackers when they attempt to penetrate an organizational network. Therefore, leaked email addresses of employees, accompanied by passwords (which might also been used for organizational systems) and other information, pose a serious threat to organizations. Advance alerts, awareness and suitable actions regarding the data leakage is crucial to decrease the odds of a successful attack.

Please, investigate the infographic attached. Hope you like it 🙂


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