A look back at notable breaches | Gallery & slideshow | SC Media

A look back at notable breaches


  • Heartland Payment Systems

    During the time the payment processor handled more than four billion transactions each year, Heartland Payment Systems announced that hackers loaded data-capturing malware onto its systems, which compromised credit and debit card numbers. Responding to the breach ended up costing the company millions of dollars.

  • Sony Playstation Network

    Attackers stole personal data belonging to Sony’s Playstation Network (PSN) between April 17 and 19, impacting roughly 77 million registered users. Compromised information included names, physical addresses, email addresses, birth dates and PSN credentials. The hack also extended to other systems that include its online gaming portal, Sony Online Entertainment.

  • Target

    More than 40 million credit and debit cards and CVV codes, in addition to personal information of up to 70 million individuals, was stolen from the retail giant as a result of point-of-sale malware. Considered one of the biggest retail breaches in history, the Minneapolis-based company expects the incident to cost it $148 million.

  • JPMorgan Chase

    The financial institution fell victim to a months-long breach that impacted 76 million household and seven million small business accounts, according to a filing with the SEC. The bank assured its customers that there was “no evidence” that compromised information included account numbers, passwords, Social Security numbers and user IDs.

  • Home Depot

    Perhaps the biggest breach disclosed in the year, Home Depot confirmed in September that 56 million payment cards may have been compromised as a result of a malware attack on its systems. The retailer believes that the “unique, custom-built” malware resided on its systems between April and September, but stated that it was “eliminated from its U.S. and Canadian networks.”

  • Community Health

    Data on more than four million patients was compromised after the computer network of hospital operator Community Health Systems was hacked sometime between April and June. The company announced that the stolen information may include names, addresses, birthdates, phone numbers, and Social Security numbers.

  • Michaels

    Similar to the Target hack, retailer Michaels confirmed a payment card breach to its U.S. stores in April, following an investigation that dates back to January. The hack involved point-of-sale malware that compromised roughly 2.6 million payment cards at Michaels outlets between May 8, 2013 and January 27, 2014. Company CEO Chuck Rubin stated that the malware has been removed.


    More than 200 of Minnesota-based SUPERVALU stores were impacted by point-of-sale malware between June 22 and July 17. Shoppers who used their payment cards at the shops during that time may have had their information compromised, including names, payment card numbers and expiration dates. Stores include Hornbacher’s, Cub Foods, Shop ‘n Save and Farm Fresh among others.

  • Sony Pictures Entertainment

    This month, a major breach hitting Sony Pictures Entertainment temporarily crippled the division’s corporate network, resulted in the leak of released and upcoming films and exposed personal data belonging to tens of thousands of individuals. Soon after the incident, researchers also found evidence that wiper malware, similar to Shamoon, may have been used against the entertainment giant. Fallout from the incident continues to be assessed, but data security firm Identity Finder discovered that 47,000 Social Security numbers of current and former Sony employees,Hollywood actors and others, was among the impacted data.

From health care providers to grocery store chains to retailers, no business is safe from the reach of hackers. Breaches dominate general media headlines and these top incidents have impacted millions of people’s information.