Hacking statistics to give you nightmares

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The World Wide Web’s unexpected sprawl has in some ways turned the whole world into a single cyber village. But as the world shifted from a physical to a digital landscape, new threats arose.

Criminals began looting the web’s wide-open corporate databases. Social media platforms attracted hackers and practically invited them to invent digital identity theft. Viruses, phishing attacks, and ransomware became common.

Only the most naive now leave data unprotected. Security has become big business.

Experts say we’ll spend $10 billion a year on cybersecurity by 2027.

Here are 30-plus eye-opening hacking statistics to prevent you from becoming a cyber victim.

Key hacking statistics

  • More than 1.76 billion corporate records leaked in January 2019 alone.
  • Ransomware attacks happen every 14 seconds.
  • 43% of cyber attacks are targeted at small businesses.
  • The average cost of a corporate data breach in 2020 will exceed $150 million.
  • The average cost of a corporate data breach in 2020 will exceed $150 million.
  • 65% of large companies have more than 500 employees who have never changed their passwords.
  • Phishing emails are responsible for about 91 percent of cyber attacks against large corporations.
  • Social media hacking statistics

1. 30 million Facebook accounts were compromised in a data breach in 2018.

(Facebook)

Facebook announced that hackers were able to access personal information for nearly half of 30 million exposed accounts in the 2018 breach. According to hacking statistics in 2018, about a million of these victims got away without any of their personal information stolen.

Facebook product management VP Guy Rosen said that none of the credit information was sold to the dark web marketplace and no access was granted to third-party apps.


2. According to consumer statistics in 2019, the number of botnet accounts on social media is likely to increase sharply. That would make it difficult to know who to trust – a special problem for marketers who rely on influencer campaigns.

(McAfee)

The history of cyber security teaches us that it’s hard to know who to trust. That’s especially tricky if you’re relying on trusted influencers to promote your product on Instagram or another social media platform. It could be that your influencer’s following is largely made up of botnets – fake accounts. Those bots aren’t going to buy or recommend your products. In fact, your brand could be hurt if consumers suspect you’re trying to boost awareness artificially with bots.


3. Email hacking statistics collected by Verizon show that phishing attempts are responsible for 80% of malware infections and nearly 95% of all espionage attacks.

(ThreatSim)

Social engineering attacks can take many forms, but phishing scams remain the main tool of modern hackers, say experts who analyze cyber threats.

Scams are carefully planned and designed to fool employees into sharing information or downloading malware. Hackers then activate the malware to retrieve information. It’s all in a day’s work among cybersecurity ventures.


4. 96% of baby boomer users don’t trust social media platforms to protect their data. Members of Gen X (94%), Gen Z (93%), and the millennial generation (92%) say much the same.

(Malwarebytes)

Online anonymity was once a comfortable given. These days, social media hacking statistics show that even giant services like Facebook and Google can’t protect data. People are scared.

Baby boomers are the most cautious age group. They hope for privacy both at work and at home. Younger people are more comfortable with technology, but they, too, have a healthy distrust of social media platforms.

They are right to worry. Social hacking is everywhere.


5. 67% of US consumers believe it is unethical for companies to target advertisements and product recommendations based on online purchases and browsing information.

(RSA Security)

Statistics on social media hacking confirm unease and distrust among users. Experts say that on some platforms, 30 to 40% of advertisements are part of the cybercrime economy. It is no wonder that more than half of US consumers believe social media platforms are not properly safeguarding their personal data.


6. 47% of social media users are seeing more spam in their feeds. Of them, 79% believe the spam includes fake news and cyber crimes.

(HubSpot)

Spammers fill your newsfeed with fake news, ads, and other content intended to lead you to a hacker website. There you will encounter requests for personal information, often augmented by automatic malware downloads.


7. Statistics on social media hacking show that private groups on public platforms let criminals discuss their exploits freely. On Facebook, 53% of messages in hacker groups are related to hijacking credit cards. Account takeovers are mentioned in 16% of messages.

(RSA Security)

Social media platforms are full of hackers looking to commit computer crimes. A lot of private information is being shared online through private groups.


8. $3.25 billion: global revenue generated each year by cyber crimes on social media platforms.

(Rexxfield)

Computer crime revenue generated on social media increased by 60% in 2018.

Though it constitutes a relatively new criminal economy, cybercrime is already generating at least $1 trillion in revenues every year according to recent statistics on hacking.

Revenue generation in the cybercrime economy takes place at a variety of levels. Hackers either establish large multinational operations that generate enormous profits of over $1 billion, or decide to go for small-scale operations where profits range from $30,000 to $50,000 per exploit.


Email phishing statistics

9. Among businesses suffering cyberattacks in 2018, 75% reported receiving fraudulent emails.

(UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport)

According to statistics on email hacking, fraudulent emails remain popular in the hacker community. Businesses have deep pockets and they are generally easy prey, despite the fact that many companies have introduced advanced security measures in recent years.


10. 30% of US users open phishing emails, and 12% of those go on to click on infected links and other cyber security threats.

(Retruster)

Hacking statistics reveal that phishing strategies are a key part of most cybersecurity incidents targeting businesses. The numbers will keep going up as long as people keep clicking on toxic links in suspicious emails.


11. In a survey of more than 1,300 IT decision makers, 56% identified targeted phishing attacks as their biggest current cybersecurity threat.

(CyberArk)

Among all the various cyber crimes that target business, phishing is the most effective and harmful. These attacks are great ways for hackers to acquire users’ passwords or gain illicit entry into corporate databases.


12. About half of IT security professionals confess that they rarely change their password strategy and that they boost security only to legally required basic standards.

(CyberArk)

In recent hacking statistics reports, nearly 50% of IT security professionals admitted that personally identifiable information of their customers could be at risk because they don’t secure their networks beyond legally required measures.


13.  87% of senior managers upload business files to a personal email account or cloud-based storage.

(Symantec)

Most recent computer hacking statistics show that most senior managers are far from careful. The truth is that if employees find security systems too difficult or inconvenient, they will simply not use them. Even though we’d like to think that upper management is more concerned with security standards and knowledgeable about all types of cyber attacks, it seems that it’s simply not true.

About 55% of middle managers find security systems far too complicated, and as a result, they put their entire company at risk. And rank-and-file employees believe security should be IT’s problem to solve.


14. Phishing emails are responsible for about 91 percent of cyber attacks against enterprise-class corporations.

(Cofense)

In large corporations, nine out of 10 cybersecurity threats can be traced to a phishing attempt. PhishMe tested this number by sending more than 40 million simulated phishing emails to more than 1,000 organizations.

91% of them were received and opened by customers.


15. Statistics on hacking show that hackers targeted five out of six large companies with email attacks last year — an annual increase of 40%.

(Symantec)

Businesses with more than 2,500 employees are especially likely to be targets in cyber crime cases. When cyber attackers want to score big, they turn to large corporations. They have bigger databases, larger bank accounts, and more employees to tempt with phishing emails.


Corporate and small-business hacking statistics

16. 43% of UK businesses have reported security breaches or attacks in the last 12 months.

(UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport)

Four in 10 businesses and two in 10 charity organizations became a part of U.S. hacking statistics during the last 12 months. This rises to seven in 10 among large companies. Many of the attacks gained access to corporate data via personal devices that staff members used in their work.


17. More than 77% of organizations do not have a cyber security incident response plan.

(Information Management)

Statistics of hacking directed at businesses show that many organizations have not formulated a cyber security incident response plan. In Europe, such plans are mandated and specified within GDPR, the General Data Protection Regulation.

Most organizations tell researchers that they track cyber attack news and are aware of the risks, but are not yet in full compliance with GDPR.


18. Hacking statistics in 2017 showed that 61% of data breach victims were companies with fewer than 1,000 employees.

(Verizon)

It’s not that the people committing cybercrimes prefer to attack smaller companies with less money. It’s just that big corporatios have more robust security systems in place.

The corporations are also more informed on why cybersecurity is important and why these systems are necessary. Many small businesses do not have the means to introduce proper defenses.


19. Recent data breach statistics indicate that most companies, even the largest, take nearly six months to detect a data breach.

(ZDnet)

Companies like Equifax, Capital One, and Facebook can be compromised without notice for weeks or month.


Mobile malware statistics

20. Third-party app stores host virtually all mobile malware threats.

(Symantec)

According to Symantec, third-party app stores hosted 99.9% of detected mobile malware, and are therefore the main cause of recent security breaches involving mobile devices.


21. Cyber hacking statistics for 2019 showcase the fact that more than 24,000 malicious mobile apps are blocked from app stores each day.

(Symantec)

Apple stands out as a company that has generally been in full control because it owns its app store. It has nonetheless had to fight recent cyber attacks in 2019 on iPhones and tablets. Android has had a longer journey toward securing the app store, since developers are granted more freedom.

The Android community has learned the hacking facts of life the hard way, and has now improved security measures. Most mobile devices require user approval before installing unverified third-party applications, and that has reduced the mobile cyberthreat substantially.


22. Android is the most targeted mobile platform.

(Computerworld)

According to recent statistics of hacking in the United States, Android remains the top target for internet attacks despite new security measures that  are updated and improved daily. However, many Android devices remain vulnerable because their owners have not updated core operating software.


23. Cell phone hacking statistics show that more than 60% of fraud originates from mobile devices.

(RSA Security)

The world has gone mobile, and so have fraudsters. Of the world’s cyberattacks, around 60% are initiated on mobile devices.

About 80% of attacks against mobile devices take place via apps. Apps give hackers access to your device under the hood, so they can easily access your mobile banking app and initiate multiple levels of cybercrime.


24. According to statistics on phishing, almost every second call to a mobile phone is a scam.

(First Orion)

These numbers sound more than alarming, especially when compared to other cyber attack statistics by year. In 2017, only 3.7% of phone calls were phishing attacks. In 2018 it was 29.2%, and researchers predicted nearly 50% by the end of 2019.

Ransomware attack statistics

25. Cyber security statistics illustrate that ransomware attacks are growing at a rate of more than 350% per year.

(Cyber Defense Magazine)

This type of attack was originally designed to hijack target systems and hold them hostage in exchange for certain demands. Such events were rare just a decade ago, and far away from cyber attacks news.

Cyber attackers have evolved ransomware, however, and the introduction of cryptocurrencies provided the missing piece – a way to collect ransom while anonymous.


26. Corporate hacking statistics show that a business falls victim to a ransomware attack every 13.275 seconds.

(Cyber Defense Magazine)

The one thing that differentiates cyber crime from any other sort of crime is the fact that attackers have systems that can steal automatically, around the clock. So if you have been wondering how many cyber attacks per day, note that hackers can attack multiple targets in a very short period of time, even just a second or two.


27. Hacking attacks in medical statistics reveal that ransomware attacks on healthcare organizations are likely to grow to five times their current rate by 2021.

(FinancesOnline)

The healthcare industry is no stranger to cyber attacks.

If you check out cyber attack statistics by year and look into the numbers for healthcare organizations, you will see that hardly a week has gone by without a breached general practice, medical charity, or hospital. Plagued by a combination of high-value data and minimal cybersecurity budgets, healthcare organizations are an easy target for cyber attackers.


28. Computer hacking statistics estimate that ransomware cost businesses and organizations $11.5 billion in 2019.

(CSO)

These attacks aren’t slowing down any time soon, and cyber security facts will most probably be even more shocking a year or two from now. The most recent case involved the local government of Jackson County, Georgia, which had to pay $400,000 in ransom to regain control of county computers.


29. Judging from website hacking statistics, it seems that personal health information is 50 times more valuable on the black market than financial information.

(Forbes)

Healthcare providers have been warned by the FBI to guard their health information, since hackers are able to sell large batches of personal data on the dark web.

In the meantime, fraudsters use this data to create fake IDs to buy medical equipment or drugs that can be easily resold.


Data breaches

30. Recent internet statistics show that you can purchase a consumer account for $1 on the dark web.

(RSA Security)

One of many scary facts: It seems that a bus ticket will be more expensive than a consumer account or one’s personal information. Billions of records and accounts have been stolen. This abundance of credentials for sale is reflected in the price.

Rather have a bank account? You can have everything you need to compromise a target’s bank accounts for $3 to $24.


31.  Statistics of hacking on the Internet show that by March 2019, more than 14 billion data records had been lost or stolen online.

(IDC)

The Breach Level Index is a global database that tracks data breaches, facts about the Internet security, and breach severity.

BLI reports that 14,717,618,286 data records had been stolen worldwide as of March 27, 2019.


32.  According statistics on hacking in 2017, roughly 147 million card numbers and expiration dates were stolen from Equifax in its 2017 data breach.

(Reuters)

It is not very comforting to learn that one of the three credit reporting agencies failed to secure the massive amount of personal information it has in its custody, leading to one of the most infamous data breaches in 2017. As a part of the proposed settlement, Equifax was obliged to pay more than $700 million to a fund that will give affected consumers credit monitoring services, and cover their damages.


33. Statistics on data breaches and costs suggest that these costs will increase to over $5 trillion globally by 2024.

(Juniper Research)

Since 2015, computer security news report have warned that the cost of data breaches will increase almost fourfold by 2024.

Growth rates and vulnerability vary from country to country.


34. Ransomware statistics reveal that 95% of breached records came from only three industries in 2016.

(Tech Republic, Forrester)

A variety of factors make hackers choose one industry over another, but it seems that a global trend that started in 2016 continues to this day. Three main industries that struggle with cyber security are government, retail, and technology. Healthcare takes fourth place.


35. Statistics on hacking in the U.S. reveal that more than 1.76 billion records leaked in January 2019 alone.

(IT Governance)

Researchers say 1,769,185,063 user records were leaked in January 2019. Major data breaches include MongoDB, whose 854 GB of CVs containing sensitive information about 202 million Chinese users was exposed, along with the Oklahoma government data breach, which exposed more than seven years of FBI investigations.

What does it all mean?

The world relies on technology more than ever before. Digital data creation has surged. Unfortunately, from infiltrations on infrastructure and data breaches to spear phishing and brute force, online cyber threats  are a growing problem – and they don’t discriminate organizations from individuals when looking for a target.

If you follow statistics on hacking in the United States, you will come to realize that hacker danger is never static. Millions of new hacking strategies are created every year. It’s easy to get frustrated over the severity of the threat environment you find yourself in. However, it is possible to defend yourself – whether you are looking to protect your business or your family.

Patching operating systems with updates promptly is one good rule. Maintain password hygiene too – change your passwords often or use a password manager. Install good antivirus software. And beware of phishing attacks. You surely don’t want to contribute to these hair-raising hacking statistics.

FAQ

How many people get hacked a year?

There were more than 1.76 billion records stolen in January 2019.

How many sites are hacked every day?

In 2019, 39.3% of hacked WordPress websites recorded outdated installations, which resulted in more than 40,000 WordPress websites hacked every day.

Can antivirus stop hackers?

There are some antivirus programs that provide some sort of protection from hackers. Norton Antivirus has proven to be able to protect your device from many tools hackers use these days.

How many cybersecurity attacks are there per day?

According to a recent study, every 39 seconds an individual with internet access could be attacked, while every 13.275 seconds a business falls victim to a ransomware attack.

What are the three types of hackers?

There are three types of hackers: White Hat hackers who create algorithms and test existing internet infrastructure, Black Hat hackers who break into systems with negative intentions, and lastly there are Grey Hat hackers who break into systems but not for their own benefit.

Do firewalls prevent hackers?

Antivirus programs and firewalls stop hackers in some ways, but they can never provide complete protection.

How much does cyber crime cost the US per year?

The cost of data breaches is predicted to increase to $2.1 trillion globally, while ransomware costs are expected to be about $11.5 billion in 2019.

How many cyber attacks happened in 2018?

Billions of people were affected – over 765 million in June, 2018.

What percentage of attacks are phishing?

Hacking statistics for 2019 show that phishing attacks are responsible for about 80% of malware infections.

Sources