Biggest cyber attacks in history

No company is immune from a breach

Billions of people have been the victim of cyber hacks and that number is expected to grow.

IBM X-Force head Wendi Whitmore tells FOX Business “nation-state actors are a huge component” of these attacks which impacted 8.5 billion people last year.  She also notes there is so much stolen data floating around already that criminals are leveraging that without needing to hack an organization.

FOX Business takes a look at the largest cyber attacks in history.



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3 billion user accounts

In September 2016, the internet giant announced it had been the victim of the biggest data breach in history. The company said the attack compromised the real names, email addresses, dates of birth and telephone numbers of 500 million users. Then a couple of months later, it revealed a different group of hackers compromised 1 billion accounts.

Yahoo, then a publically traded company, was acquired by Verizon in 2017 for a little over $4 billion.

Marriott - Starwood Hotels


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500 million/guests/accounts

On November 30, 2018, the hotel empire revealed a security breach with its Starwood Hotel brands that may have compromised the data of as many as 500 million guests.

Adult Friend Finder


More than 412.2 million accounts

In October 2016, the website said hackers were able to gain access to more than 20 years of data on its six databases that included names, email addresses and passwords.

Under Armour - MyFitnessPal

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UA UNDER ARMOUR INC. 6.70 +0.10 +1.44%


150 million user accounts

In February 2018, the sports apparel brand Under Armour disclosed that a hacker gained the access of email addresses and login information to 150 million users of its food and nutrition website, MyFitnessPal.



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EBAY EBAY INC. 39.12 +0.45 +1.16%

145 million users

In May 2014, eBay announced that hackers got into the company network using the credentials of three corporate employees and had complete inside access for 229 days, during which time they were able to collect personal information of all of its 145 million users.


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EFX EQUIFAX INC. 180.16 -2.20 -1.21%


145 million users

In September 2017, one of the largest credit bureaus in the U.S. revealed personal information, including Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and in some cases drivers’ license numbers were compromised.

In 2020, four Chinese military hackers have been charged with breaking into the computer networks of the Equifax credit reporting agency and stealing the personal information of tens of millions of Americans, the Justice Department announced.


Heartland Payment Systems


134 million credit cards exposed

In January 2009, Heartland Payment Systems, the sixth-largest payments processor in the U.S., announced that its processing systems were breached in 2008, exposing more than 134 of customers’ credit card numbers and more than 650 financial services companies.

Target Stores


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TGT TARGET CORP. 156.42 -0.55 -0.35%

Up to 110 million people compromised

In 2013, the retail giant was attacked days before Thanksgiving when hackers gained access through a third-party HVAC vender to its point-of-sale (POS) payment card readers, which in return collected data of up to 110 million customers.