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Uber latest victim of massive hacking

© AFP/File / by Robin GREMMEL | The theft of personal information of millions of customers by hackers is becoming an all too common headline.

PARIS (AFP) - 

The hacking in 2016 of data on 57 million Uber riders and drivers, unveiled on Tuesday, is among the biggest ever thefts of online users' personal information.

Here are some previous cases:

- Yahoo, billions hacked -

In what is considered the biggest cyber-attack in history, a 2013 hack affected all three billion accounts at Yahoo.

The disclosure in October by Verizon, which acquired Yahoo's online assets in June, revised upward the initial estimate of one billion accounts affected.

Yahoo said the stolen user information did not include passwords in clear text, payment card data or bank account information.

The disclosure threatened the sale to Verizon, which finally secured a lower price.

Another hacking attack on Yahoo affected some 500 million accounts in 2014 but was only revealed in September 2016.

- Equifax loses credit -

A breach by major American credit agency Equifax in September is seen as potentially more damaging than that of Yahoo because of the sensitivity of the data leaked.

Equifax said hackers obtained names, social security numbers, birth dates, addresses and some driver's licence numbers, potentially exposing victims to identity theft.

It said the breach, from mid-May through July, could affect more than 145 million US customers as well as Canadian and British clients.

Criticised for not preventing the breach and for revealing it late, the company has been sued and is being investigated.

- Password plunder -

In August 2014 online data protection firm Hold Security claimed that Russian hackers had accessed 1.2 billion passwords linked to 420,000 internet sites around the world, from corporate giants to individual accounts.

Hold Security pointed to a group of hackers called CyberVor, which it said had potentially gained access to 500 million e-mail accounts.

- South Korea scramble -

In January 2014 South Koreans scrambled to stop money being siphoned from their bank accounts after it emerged that data on 20 million credit cards had been stolen over several years.

The data was swiped by an employee from the personal credit ratings firm Korea Credit Bureau who then sold it to telemarketing companies.

- Taking aim at Target -

US retail giant Target was hit by a computer attack in December 2013 that affected 110 million clients.

Seventy million might have lost personal data including names, addresses, phone numbers and e-mail accounts, while 40 million bank accounts and credit cards were also put at risk.

- Affair site cracked -

In August 2015 hackers calling themselves The Impact Team published nearly 30 gigabytes of files including the names and credit card data of people who had signed up with Ashley Madison, a website facilitating extra-marital affairs.

The company's boss stepped down as several suicides were linked to the revelations.

Ashley Madison had earlier offered to delete users personal data for a modest fee but did not.

- Apple in crosshairs -

In September 2015 computer security experts discovered a virus dubbed KeyRaider that targeted Apple iPhones and iPads, and which had already affected 225,000 Apple accounts.

The virus intercepted communications with Apple's iTunes music store, stealing information as purchases were made. Users in 18 countries were affected.

by Robin GREMMEL

© 2017 AFP