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This country leads in global data breaches

Data breaches rose globally during Q2 2023.

One country had the dubious honor of having three times as many data breaches as any other nation during the second quarter of 2023.

According to new analysis from secure network technology provider Surfshark, 110.8 million online accounts were leaked in the second quarter of 2023, which was 2.6 times the number of breaches in the first quarter of the year (43.2 million). In terms of scale, the second quarter saw 855 accounts breached every minute, compared to 334 accounts per minute in the previous quarter.

The U.S. was the most breached country during the quarter by a wide margin. The top five most-breached nations were:

  • US 49.8 million
  • Russia 15.3 million
  • Spain 3.7 million
  • France 3.4 million
  • Turkey 2.7 million

These five countries accounted for around 68% of all breached accounts during the second quarter of 2023. Except for Turkey, these countries were also among the top five most breached ones in the previous quarter.

Russia had the most leaked accounts during the first quarter of 2023, followed by the U.S. Turkey’s number of leaked accounts rose by more than 22 times to 2.8 million from 120,000 the previous quarter (when it ranked 25th).

Taiwan experienced a notable decrease in leaked accounts. In the prior quarter, Taiwan had 4 million breached accounts and was third by the number of breaches. Over the last three months, Taiwan’s number of breached accounts decreased to roughly 18,000.

Other notable findings 

  • In the second quarter of 2023, Asia, Africa, and Antarctica saw a downturn in leaked accounts, while North America, Europe, Oceania, and South America experienced an increase. Almost one in two global data breaches occurred in North America, with 97% of those happening in the U.S.
  • Breached European accounts have also increased. The number grew by 56% from 17.9 million  in the first quarter to 28 million in the second quarter. More than half of all leaked European accounts in the second quarter are Russian, followed by Spanish and French accounts (around 13% and 12%, respectively).
  • Oceania and South America also saw notable quarter-over-quarter growth in breached accounts. In Oceania, the number of accounts grew by over 730% from 287K to 2.4 million, while South America saw a lower but considerable growth of almost 90%, going from 854,000 to 1.6 million.
  • Furthermore, three regions saw a decrease in the number of accounts breached in the second quarter compared to the first quarter — Asia, Africa, and Antarctica. Asia, the region with the second-highest number of breaches in the quarter, saw its leaked accounts decrease from 10.9 million to 5.8 million. Africa saw a slight quarterly decrease from 1 million to 980,000 breached accounts.

[Read more: Verizon: Hackers put retail payment card data at risk]

Surfshark analyzed global data breaches that occurred between April to June 2023 (inclusive) and compared the numbers to those from January to March 2023 (inclusive). Countries with a population lower than 1 million were excluded.

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