China become third top country targeted by cyber breaches

Following major in recent months, China displays a dramatic 1092% quarter-over-quarter increase in users who have had their data compromised.

Just recently, a Shanghai police database was allegedly breached by unidentified hackers who claim to have stolen the data of a billion Chinese citizens. The hacker or group claiming responsibility for the incident is reportedly offering to sell more than 33 terabytes of the database’s stolen data for 10 bitcoins.

Reports state that this is probably China’s largest ever data breach. A breach amounting 70% of citizens the most populated country on earth, it’s really concerning to think that it could only continue to rise.

According to the recent study by cybersecurity firm Surfshark, which was based on an analysis of millions of compromised accounts from April through June, China is the third most breached country of 2022 second quarter. Over 3.4 million Chinese users have been compromised during this time, and 991 million accounts have been compromised since 2004. East Asia has experienced the highest quarterly increases in compromised users, with South Korea increasing by 1013%, China by 1092%, and Japan by 1442%.

Based on 27,000 leaked databases, Surfshark’s interactive tool illustrates how breaches have an impact on every nation. In terms of leaked accounts, the most recent monthly update placed Russia first in the world with 28.78M, followed by India with 4.4M, China with 3.4M, Brazil with 3.2M, the US with 2.3M, and South Korea with 1.8M.

In addition to being among the top three countries for data breaches, according to Agneska Sablovskaja, Data Researcher at Surfshark, China accounts for 7% of all incidents worldwide over the past 18 years. “Across Asia, every second person has been affected globally, while in China this number reaches as much as two-thirds and continues growing,” she added.

Cyber breaches are rising worldwide

The wave of compromised data is growing globally as more businesses suffer severe security breaches.

This quarter, there were 2% higher global user breaches than the previous one. 450 accounts were compromised every minute in the first quarter of 2022. However, every 60 seconds, 459 accounts were exposed in the second quarter of 2022. This surge follows one of the least active quarters in terms of data breaches in this century, 2022’Q1.

China is no different. The breach rate increased from 2 to 27 breached accounts per minute in the second quarter of 2022, or 1092% more than in the first quarter.

When looking at the parts of the world, such as in Vietnam, Iraq, and Liberia, their accounts are breached with the most data points. Vietnamese email accounts that have been compromised have, on average, lost 4.3 data points. Vietnamese users lost 91.1% more data points from breaches combined with their email than the average user worldwide. Emails from Iraq and Liberia are compromised on average with 4.1 and 3.9 more data points, respectively. This may indicate that individuals from these nations fill out online forms more meticulously, increasing the risk of data leaks.

The biggest spike in cyber breaches

According to Surfshark’s study, when comparing 2022’Q2 with 2022’Q1, Japan experienced the largest increase in users who had been breached. A startling 1.3 million individuals had their accounts compromised, a 14-fold increase in victims (1442%) over the last quarter.

Other nations that have experienced the biggest spike in data breaches include the mentioned China with a 1092% jump, South Korea with 1013%, Brazil with 770%, and Malaysia with 733%. Interestingly, this data surfaced following a recent alleged data breach involving the Home Minister of Malaysia, which exposed the personal information of 22.5 million Malaysians born between 1940 and 2004.

As such, the threat posed by cybercrime should be treated seriously. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that these numbers will continue to rise in the next few months. Therefore, businesses and government agencies should continue to adhere to cybersecurity best practices.

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