Sydney, April 15: Cybersecurity company Surfshark’s latest study has found that Russia is first in terms of data breaches in the first three months of the year, with more than 3.5 million Internet users being affected.
Since the start of Ukraine’s invasion last month, 136 per cent more Russian accounts were infiltrated compared to the previous month.
Coming in second after Russia was the US, followed by Poland, France, and India.
Australia however shot up in the chart and experience more data breaches in February while Ukraine appeared in 67 per cent fewer breaches than in the quarter before the war.
The analysis highlights that the top five countries with the most data breaches account for half of all leaks in the first quarter of this year.
Russians alone make up almost a fifth of all global victims, of which were 3.55 million.
The numbers in the country are 11 per cent higher than in the last quarter, surpassing the usual “front runner” US.
The number of breached Russian accounts rose by 136 per cent (month on month) since the start of Ukraine’s invasion in the end of February.
Ukraine’s invasion has likely influenced this situation as the hacker group Anonymous declared that it was targeting the country just days after the start of the war.
Besides Russia (11 per cent) and Poland (514 per cent), big spikes in breached users were spotted in Australia (87 per cent) as well.
To put in real numbers, 200,000 accounts of Australians were breached this quarter than the last, amounting to a total of 430,0000 victims.
“Data breaches remain one of the most common types of cybercrime, despite the decline it has demonstrated in the past months,” Aleksandr Valentij, Chief Information Security Officer at Surfshark said.
“Pools of leaked emails, passwords, telephone numbers, and even more sensitive data are often sold on the dark web to be later used in phishing attacks, ransomware, or even identity theft.
As we can see from our latest data, some countries were more vulnerable to such instances than others in the past months.”
In general, Surfshark Alert’s database analysis determined that the first quarter of 2022 was lower than the last in terms of data breach cases.
To put it in real numbers, 18,174,132 email accounts were breached in the first quarter of this year.
Whereas, there were 43,169,912 breaches in the previous quarter, signalling a decline of 58 per cent quarter-over-quarter.
So far in 2022, data of two Internet users was leaked every second.
Users in Ukraine appeared in 67 per cent fewer breaches than in the quarter before the invasion.
It’s now 15th in the world – previously, from October to December 2021, Ukraine was the most breached country in Eastern Europe.
The US, which came in second place, also shows a positive downward trend in data breaches for the second quarter in a row.
The US had almost 50 per cent fewer affected users in 2022 than in the last quarter, with around 2.5M users breached.
The top 20 most breached countries of Q1 2022 in descending order are Russia, the U.S., Poland, France, India, Turkey, Australia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Germany, the U.K, Brazil, China, Philippines, Ukraine, Spain, Czechia, Taiwan, Canada, and South Korea.
The data from this study was taken from the Surfshark Alert database, which comprises all publicly available breached data sets to inform our users of potential threats.
The examined data was taken from the first three months of this year.
The selected data was then analysed and compared to the data from the previous quarter, from October to December last year.
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