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Hacktivists compromised 100 million users' data in 2011

Verizon on Thursday released its annual Data Breach Investigations Report, and found that out of the 177 million records stolen by hackers in 2011 - each record represents data attached to an individual person - 100 million records were taken by "hacktivists," or activist hackers, reports Forbes.

Out of the 855 analyzed breach incidents from 2011, only three percent were attributed to hacktivists. Despite this small proportion, Verizon's director of security research Wade Baker said that it is giant compared to the same category in last year's study, when such attacks accounted for less than one percent of all total incidents. When looking at only attacks carried out against large organizations, which are common targets for Anonymous and other groups, hacktivist incidents account for 25 percent of all attacks.

Verizon's report found that 96 percent of all attacks did not require advanced skills to carry out, and that 97 percent of the attacks were easily avoidable. The report also makes suggestions of simple changes that companies can make to avoid more breaches.

The Data Breach Investigations Report analyzes data from hundreds of Verizon's breach response, as well as those performed by law enforcement agencies from the United States, Australia, U.K. and more. Verizon's study is the largest of its kind, and the full report can be viewed embedded at the bottom of Forbes' article.

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