Data Breaches in California Jump and Are Expected to Keep Climbing

by Andrew Khouri, Los Angeles Times

ccfraudData breaches soared last year in California as cybercriminals leaped over digital security gates to endanger the personal data of millions of consumers, California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris said.

Harris, in a report released Tuesday, highlighted the effect that headline-producing data breaches had on the Golden State: two massive hacks last year at Target Corp. and daily deals website LivingSocial each hit roughly 7.5 million Californians.

In all, 18.5 million people in the state had their data stolen last year, a more than 600% jump from 2012. The number of breaches reported to Harris’ office climbed 28% to 167, and is expected to rise again in 2014.

“Data breaches … threaten the privacy, the security and the economic well-being of consumers and businesses,” Harris said at a news conference in Los Angeles.

California residents aren’t any more prone to data hijacking than others, but an unusual state law requires businesses and state agencies to notify customers of any breach involving more than 500 accounts. That law resulted in the California Data Breach Report, which underscored the difficulties faced by companies who are constantly racing against wily thieves to secure sensitive information.

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