Security breaches seem to be becoming increasingly common, or maybe just more publicised? However, with the notable breach of YouPorn during this week, we’ve decided to look at the biggest security breaches of all time. So, what are they?

biggest_hacks_ever Biggest Security Breaches Ever

Heartland Payment Systems

Heartland is the fifth largest processor of credit cards in America and comes in just one place inside the top ten in the world. In 2008, its systems were hacked and it lost over 130m records, including the data that’s encoded into the magnetic piece on the back of credit cards. This allowed the hackers to create counterfeit credit cards and saw Heartland pay up €60m to settle claims with customers and banks. In late 2009 a hacker named Albert Gonzalez was indicted for the hack.

 Biggest Security Breaches Ever

TJX Companies Hacked

TK Maxx and Marshall’s owner TJX Companies announced it was breached in 2007 and saw 94m of its customers accounts hacked. The hackers garnered all the credit and debit card information as well as check and merchandise return info.  Amazingly, Gonzalez was again ringleader of this hack and was sentenced to 20 years in Federal prison for the two breaches.


The third largest breach of security happened amazingly as far back as 1984, with TRW an American aerospace company, also involved in credit reporting and the automotive industries.

The company was involved in a wide range of credit services, including credit histories, employment records, bankruptcies and had a whole spate of other information. It also had a number of large bank and department store subscribers and when hackers broke in they stole 90m people’s histories – a huge amount of information, especially when you consider it’s nearly 30 years ago.


The most recent and one of the most highly notable breaches. The hack of Sony’s Playstation Network say over 77m users hacked in 2011. This hack was noted around the world, partially due to the fact it was a well known consumer electronics company. However, it’s a lot less than the Heartland hack.

The first hack of Sony began in April 2011 and saw the 77m of the user names hacked. The second breach came a few weeks later and saw a relatively small 24m people’s account details leaked.

This of course puts the whole YouPorn breach into perspective, where it is expected over 6,000 people have had their information stolen. Of course the embarrassment of such a scenario is more central to than the hack itself.  So, if there’s a lesson to be learned – do the very best to keep your info under wraps.

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