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Hacks Lead to More Stolen Identities than Lost Devices

More than 232 million identities were exposed during 2011, with an average of 1.1 million identities stolen per data breach, according to Symantec's latest Internet Security Threat Report. In 34 percent of cases, the data breaches were related to the loss or theft of a device -- but those types of breaches tended to be smaller in scope, Liam O Murchu, manager of operations at Symantec's North American security response center, told InternetNews.com.

"We see that hacking attacks are really where the vast majority of identities are taken," Murchu said. In fact, more than 80 percent of lost identities were caused by hacking attacks, according to Symantec's research.

Although Symantec did not release a breakdown of attack vectors responsible for data breaches, Murchu noted that SQL injection continues to be a prime contributor. He also cited the rise in hacktivism as being a key factor in breaches, a finding that was echoed bu Verizon earlier this year: Released in March, Verizon's Breach Report reported that hacktivists were responsible for 58 percent of all data stolen in 2011.

Read the full story at eSecurityPlanet:
Symantec: Attacks On the Rise, But Spam and Botnets Down

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.