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300 million user account data leaked globally in 2023 - data breach trends

February 2024 by Surfshark

10 accounts were leaked every second of 2023, Surfshark’s global study shows:

© Boguslaw Mazur

“As we look back on 2023, there’s a positive trend in data breaches – a 20% decrease in affected accounts compared to 2022. Despite this improvement, 300 million users worldwide still experienced breaches,” says Agneska Sablovskaja, Lead Researcher at Surfshark. “Even a single account data leak can lead to unauthorized access, risking the misuse of personal information, potential identity or financial theft. Using the same passwords across multiple accounts can compromise others, so it’s crucial to use unique and strong passwords for different online services."

Global insights:

• The US topped the list with 97M breaches, followed by Russia (78M) and France (10M), Spain (8M), and India (5M).
• While the number of data breaches has slightly decreased globally, some countries experienced an increase. In the US, for example, the number of breaches increased trifold.
• In 2022, Russia had the highest number of breaches. However, in 2023, the number of breaches decreased by 27%, causing Russia to drop to 2nd place. Despite the decrease, Russia still holds over a quarter of all breached accounts in 2023.
• In 2023, Q2 had the highest number of breaches - 135M, while Q3 had the least (31M).
• LinkedIn had the biggest instance of people’s personal details being made available for nefarious actors, with almost 11.5M emails leaked due to the scraping of publicly available information. Other notable breaches: Duolingo (2.7M), (1.2M).

Note: A data breach happens when confidential and sensitive data gets exposed to unauthorized third parties. In this study, we treat every breached or leaked email address used to register for online services as a separate user account, which may have been leaked with additional information, such as password, phone number, IP address, zip code, and more.

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