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5 of the Worst Data Breaches

Brian Levin | 1.1.2024

Recent Security Failures Across the U.S. 

Too often, companies fail to keep customer information safe. Data breaches in nearly every industry result in personal data being leaked to bad actors. While there are sophisticated hackers that can exploit a system, many of these breaches occur due to vulnerabilities in a company’s security.

The class action and investment fraud law firm Levin Law (“Levin Law”) will help investigate your claim to determine whether you can take legal action. It is important to consult with an attorney as soon as possible. Contact our office at (305) 402-9050 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. 

Here are 5 of the worst data breaches in U.S. history:

  1. Yahoo

In 2013, all three billion Yahoo accounts were compromised in what is widely considered the largest data breach to date. The security failure enabled bad actors to access account holders' information, including their names, birth dates, and phone numbers. Passwords were also obtained, according to The New York Times

It took years for analysts to discover the full extent of the breach. In fact, it was not until the company was being considered for sale to Verizon Communications that light was shed on the enormity of the security failure. Prior to the sale, Yahoo had claimed the number of people affected was considerably less than three billion. The revelation nearly killed the sale. 

  1. Facebook

Personal data for over 530 million customers was exposed in a 2019 Facebook breach. The security failure enabled “malicious actors” to obtain customer information, including their names, phone numbers, and email addresses, according to NPR. The hackers were able to exploit a vulnerability in the search function of Facebook. The function allowed users to search for other people using their phone numbers. 

In a controversial move, Facebook decided not to individually notify customers who were affected by the data breach. It is not the first time the social media giant has come under scrutiny for similar problems. A few months before the breach, Facebook reached a settlement with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission for tailing to protect user privacy, as reported by NPR. 

  1. First American Financial Corp.

In one of the largest data leaks in U.S. history, an estimated 885 million documents were exposed online. The breach involved one of the country’s most influential insurance companies, First American Financial. According to Forbes, the security breach unveiled sensitive information to potentially bad actors. Data such as a customer’s bank account information, mortgage records, bank statements, and tax documents were all placed online. 

The documents contained confidential information that can be used to commit fraud. The breach was reportedly the result of a “website design error.” It is unclear the total number of people that were affected, but documents dating back nearly 20 years were released.

  1. Marriott International

Up to 500 million people were affected by a breach that hit Marriott International in 2014. The breach, however, was not discovered until 2018, according to TechCrunch. The security failure involved the Starwood hotel chain. Sensitive information such as customers’ names, emails, and phone numbers were leaked. The hotel giant faced several data breaches over the next nearly ten years, putting customer privacy at risk repeatedly. 

  1. Microsoft

Microsoft has been plagued by data breaches throughout its history. One of the most devastating occurred in 2019 when the company accidentally exposed over 250 million documents containing sensitive information. As reported in a LifeLock article, records dating back as far as 2005 were released in the breach. Information like customer email addresses and IP addresses were exposed during the security failure.

Contact Levin Law to Learn More

If you would like to learn more about legal action that can be taken after a data or security breach, contact Levin Law at (305) 402-9050 to schedule a free case evaluation. Most cases are accepted on a contingency fee basis, meaning clients are not obligated to pay Levin Law attorney fees unless money is recovered on their behalf. 

About Levin Law

Levin Law is a premier national cryptocurrency, securities, commodities, futures, and class action law firm. Brian Levin, Levin Law’s founding attorney, has helped recover in excess of $150,000,000 through arbitration and litigation for individual and institutional investors throughout the country and the rest of the world. Levin Law represents retirees, individual investors, high-net-worth investors, ultra-high-net-worth investors, institutions, family offices, trusts, publicly held companies, and others.

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