The Most Disastrous Data Breaches Of 2015

by Hope Racine

It seems like every day there's news of another large-scale data breach, as cyber criminals mine for financial information, or utilize "hacktivism" in order to send a message, making the biggest data hacks of 2015 seem worse and worse. While large-scale breaches such as the Ashley Madison and Planned Parenthood hacks were done to lash out at a specific organization, some of the alarming breaches in 2015 so far have resulted in the personal and financial information of millions of Americans being exposed. And breaches of this nature are picking up steam.

According to The Washington Post, in 2014 there were 780 data breaches, and between May 2013 and May 2014, 110 million Americans were victims of a data breach. But while identity theft is worrying to think of, the Ashley Madison and Planned Parenthood hacks are equally concerning in that they weren't done for financial reasons — these hackers released personal information and data simply because they could.

These hacks and cyber attacks come from criminals, foreign countries, and bored Americans. In July, a hacker called Vikingdom2016 crashed New York magazine's site because, as he told The Daily Dot, he had visited New York and hated it. It had nothing to do with the Bill Cosby feature the magazine was running that day. He did it because he felt like it.

These hacks are picking up and will likely blow the 780 breaches from 2014 out of the water. Here's a (clearly not exhaustive) list of some of the biggest data breaches from 2015, from national health insurance companies to the federal government.

Image: Caroline Wurtzel/Bustle