A new global report from cybersecurity specialist Surfshark says a total of 41.6 million breached accounts were detected in the first quarter of 2023, which may sound like a huge number but is actually a significant drop.
Compared with the fourth quarter of last year, the figures represent a 49 percent reduction in breached users worldwide, however, while the outlook looks rosy, more than 41 million breached accounts gives us no reason to be happy, the company said, the researchers said, adding In some parts of the world, the number of compromised accounts is still on the rise, he said.
Cybercriminals can use stolen account information to carry out a variety of scams and cyberattacks, from business email compromise to identity theft, wire fraud and more, researchers warn.
Fraud and Scams
Most of the stolen accounts were located in Russia – 6.6 million. US accounts came in second with 5 million, followed by Taiwan (3.9 million), France (3.2 million) and Spain (3.2 million). Taiwan experienced a sharp spike, with a 21-fold increase in the number of compromised accounts quarter-over-quarter, up from 191,000 in Q4 2022.
In general, one user account is compromised every second in the first quarter of 2023.
Surfshark said Europe was the only region to see a “significant” quarter-over-quarter increase in breached accounts, with the number nearly doubling from 9.9 million to 17.5 million. The number of compromised accounts in the Czech Republic increased ninefold. Still, they pale in comparison to those of Taiwan and Saudi Arabia. The number of compromised accounts in these countries increased approximately 20 times in Q1 2023 compared to Q4 2022. South Korea increased 12 times.
The largest breaches by email volume included Russia’s Sberbank (2.9 million accounts compromised), US-based Weee! with 1.1 million breaches, and Switzerland’s Zurich Insurance with 756,700 compromised accounts.
To create this report, Surfshark gathered data from 29,000 publicly available databases.