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Encryption Blog

The First Data Breach

Created: 31 Mar 2010 • Updated: 05 Nov 2012 • 1 comment
Tim_Matthews's picture
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At the recent RSA Conference in San Francisco, I had the pleasure of moderating a panel on the topic of data breaches and how to handle them.  Along with Larry Ponemon, Founder and Chairman of the Ponemon Institute, and Jerry Archer, SVP and CSO at Sallie Mae, was David Shettler from the Open Security Foundation (OSF), publishers of DataLossDB.

Post-panel, as we were walking back through Moscone, David answered a question I had been wondering about: When was the first reported data breach?  Turns out that it happened over a century ago, in 1896, where the dispensary records for the Southern California Hospital for the Insane went missing, and were thought to be stolen.  So protection of PHI has been a long time coming...

For more of the history of data breaches - including a  1984 TRW incident, where computer hackers gained access to a system holding credit histories of some 90 million people - check out the OSF's writeup.

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