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The recent COMB breach is being labelled as the biggest data leak of all time, with billions of email addresses and passwords exposed online.
The pairs of emails and passwords are said to amount to 3.2 billion, meaning a huge proportion of internet users may have been affected.
The COMB breach is damning proof of the cybercrime crisis affecting the world, suggesting that data theft appears to be out of control. Although cybercriminals are developing more sophisticated ways of hacking databases, it is also true that some data controllers are not taking their data protection duties as seriously as they need to be. The monumental COMB breach should be a wake-up call to all companies and organisations that hold and process private information, particularly those which do not have the cybersecurity defences that the law requires of them.
COMB stands for Compilation of Many Breaches, as the billions of email addresses and passwords leaked are understood to have been collected from several individual breaches. The details include those leaked in previous breaches of Netflix, LinkedIn and Bitcoin, among other companies.
The COMB breach is of an exceptional scale: it is believed to have affected 3.2 billion people which, according to figures by CyberNews, could equate to 70% of global internet users. The data was posted on a popular hacker forum in mid-February.
It is worrying to think that hackers and cybercriminals have been aggregating data from separate breaches, and that the cyberattacks carried out have yielded billions of email addresses and passwords over the years. As advocates of data privacy and cybersecurity, we have been arguing for many years that data breaches have a long-lasting, cumulative impact, and this has never been more apparent that in the COMB leak.
As it seems that internet users are more likely to have been affected than not, expert advice suggests that people should take action to create new, secure passwords for their accounts in order to prevent them from being hacked. It is possible that those affected may become vulnerable to various different security risks, such as phishing emails, scams and other fraud attempts. Being prepared for these attacks is important if you are to prevent financial losses and the theft of further data.
The COMB leak is the product of the current climate of data breaches and cybercrime confronting companies globally. Countless organisations have succumbed to data breaches in recent years, and the COMB leak shows just how devastating the impact can be.
We do not believe that the trend of data breaches is going to stop. Your Lawyers – The Data Leak Lawyers – as a leading consumer action and data protection law firm, can see things only getting worse.
When a third-party organisation fails to protect your personal information, you may be able to claim compensation for breach of confidentiality, as the company may have broken their legal obligation to keep your data private and safe.
For advice about a data breach claim, contact our team for a free, no-obligation discussion now.
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