10 years and 10 scandal information leaks

Last updated: May 14, 2018


You might have heard a lot about notorious terabit leakage, but are the most scandal of them for the recent 10 years. In our today’s blog we’ll tell you about 10 scandal information leaks that took place for the period of 10 years.

Did you know about all of them? Keep on reading and find out it!


‘’Heartland Payment Systems’’

2008-2009 became deplorable for the payment system, whose central office is located in New Jersey. The breakthrough in the perimeter of security led to the leakage of data on 130 million credit and debit cards. Spyware installed by cybercriminals in the network transmitted all the information on the cards as soon as it came from the bank branches. As the company processed payments from 250,000 retailers, the cyber attack was incredible.

In 2010, Albert Gonzalez, who was behind this data leakage, as well as leading several more major hacker attacks, was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment.



The incident, called Cablegate, took place in 2010. At that time WikiLeaks published more than 250 thousand documents from the diplomatic correspondence of the US, a large part of them - with the stamp "secret."

Published correspondence refers to the period from December 1966 to February 2010. At the time of publication, the archive was the largest leak of secret information in history.



In March 2011, the Texas-based Epsilon Company, which provides more than 2,500 customers with a platform for e-mail marketing, acknowledged that data on 50 customers were stolen.

Information on 60 million customers, banks, retail chains, hotels was abducted by cybercriminals. Among the victims were such well-known firms as: Best Buy, JPMorgan Chase, Capital One Bank and Verizon.

‘’Guantanamo files’’

On April 25, 2011, WikiLeaks, the New York Times and The Guardian published 779 secret documents which revealed the following information:

About 150 suspects from Pakistan and Afghanistan were detained in the Guantanamo military prison. All of them were civilians, and no charges were brought against them. It is known that the oldest of the prisoners was 89 years old, the youngest - 14. Many prisoners were tortured.

‘’Cyber attack on Sony’’

In April 2011, hackers attacked the services of Sony: PlayStation Network and Sony Online Entertainment, stole about 102 million customer records.

Initially, Sony admitted to leaking data on 78 million customers - personal information, payment details, logins and passwords. However, a deeper investigation showed that about 24.6 million users of SOE and Qriocity services also suffered. In addition, 23,400 credit card records were stolen all over Europe. In less than three weeks, the number one gambling network lost its position, and the company received lawsuits amounting to $ 171 million.


‘’Target Stores’’

In December 2013, the gigantic chain of stores "Target" confirmed the information that hackers infected the devices for reading credit cards. As a result, attackers seized access to 40 million accounts across the United States. In January 2014, representatives of Target recognized that cybercriminals also had access to personal information about 70 million customers.

‘’Exposing Edward Snowden’’

It is impossible to talk about information leaks, not mentioning Edward Snowden, a former agent of the US National Security Agency (NSA). In 2013, Snowden handed over to journalists thousands of documents that tell how the intelligence services monitor almost everything. Security experts consider this incident to be the largest in the recent history of mankind.

Snowden's documents showed that the NSA collects data on telephone calls from citizens. It also became aware of the existence of the PRISM program, during which the Agency received information about users of Google, Facebook and Apple. In addition, the details of the surveillance of the NSA by leaders of other states were revealed.


‘’Again Sony’’

In November 2014, Sony Pictures Entertainment, a division of the company engaged in the production of animated and video films, was attacked by a team of hackers who took full control of the internal network.

As a result, the file sharing services turned out to scan copies of actors' passports, access to the internal network of Sony, marketing plans, scripts, financial reports and four still not released films.

The result of the attack - Hollywood competitors got a huge advantage, and Sony Pictures Entertainment found itself on the verge of survival.


‘’Ashley Madison's personal data’’

Ashley Madison is a rather unusual web resource. This is an online dating service for people already married or in a relationship. In other words, this is a site for those who are looking for intrigues on the side.

In 2015, the hacking group The Impact Team said that if the site is not closed, hackers will publish personal data of its users. The administration refused to close the site, and soon the Internet got 60 GB of data about users Ashley Madison. In fact, it was a list of people who changed or at least planned to change their partners. It is not known for sure how many pairs have disintegrated as a result of this leak, but at least one person in August 2015 committed suicide.


‘’Equifax website hack’’

This year ‘’gave birth ‘’ to the biggest ever information leak which involved 44 percent of the US people. The Equifax data breach took place on July, 29 and caused serious outcomes, such as leakage of names, numbers of Social Security, birth dates and consumers’ addresses and even the numbers of driver licenses.

143 million citizens of the US became vulnerable, and if the total population of the US is taken into account (more that 300 million people), the degrees of the cyber attack are really impressive.

Scandal data leaks in figures



Information leakage


Heartland Payment Systems

130 million credit and debit cards




250 thousand documents from the diplomatic correspondence of the US




60 million customers, banks, retail chains, hotels


Guantanamo files


779 secret documents



102 million customer records.


Target Stores


70 million customers.


Exposing Edward Snowden


Thousands of documents


Ashley Madison's personal data


got 60 GB of data


Equifax website hack

143 million citizens of the US


What do these figures say? Actually, cyber security must on the highest level whether it is a huge company or a common internet user. Might have it been prevented by the use of VPN services? Well, nobody can give a 100% result or guarantee, but it is sure VPN services increase the degree of protection.

Keep secure online!