The largest data breaches of 2015

Since the Target and Home Depot hacks of 2013, high profile data breaches are an increasingly common occurrence. Here are nine of the largest ones this year:

1. Excellus BlueCross BlueShield
While not the largest breach on the list, the health insurance provider was the longest, stretching as far back as December 2013 before it was finally stopped this past September. Personal data of more than 10 million members were compromised when the company's IT systems were hacked.

2. Premera Blue Cross
This breach barely qualifies for this list, as it was discovered in back in January. This health insurer's hack started in May 2014 and leaked information of more than 11 million members, including many employees of three Seattle based companies: Amazon, Microsoft and Starbucks.

3. Anthem
The last healthcare breach on the list is also the largest ever recorded in that industry. Though no start date for the hack was disclosed, when the data leak was discovered in February 78.8 million patient medical records were breached. Later, Anthem officials added another 8.8 million to 18.8 million more people to that total, covering non-patient record leaks.

4. VTech
This breach is significant because it was the first to target children. VTech, the landline phone turned early educational electronics manufacturer, announced last month that a hack exposed 6 million children accounts and 5 million parent accounts from their Learning Lodge application store.

5. Experian/T-Mobile
Much like how the Premera breach involved outside companies, the Experian leak was a publicity nightmare for T-Mobile. Experian, which processes credit checks for the mobile phone carrier, compromised the data of 15 million T-Mobile subscribers by the time the hack ceased in October.

6. OPM
Even the federal government couldn't escape data breaches this year. In June, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management announced the leak of over 21.5 million American citizens, including 19.7 million people who applied for security clearances, 3.6 million current and former government employees and 1.8 million relatives and associates of other government personnel. In addition, the hack stole 5.6 million fingerprint records.

7. Ashley Madison
In August, the website revealed that it leaked the information of 37 million users. Even worse was that the site's "full delete" feature didn't actually remove personal data, meaning many former users who thought they had removed their information were included in the breach.

8. The Trump Hotel Collection
From May 2014 through June 2015 several prominent Trump Hotel locations were hacked, leaking an as yet undisclosed number of customer credit and debit card information.

9. Hilton Worldwide
This breach is one of the shortest on the list, from April to July of this year, but it covers a large portion of the company's brands, including Hilton, Embassy Suites, Doubletree, Hampton Inn and Suites and Waldorf Astoria Hotels and Resorts. Much like other hotel hacks on this list, criminals were able to obtain customer credit and debit card information from malware installed on point of sale hardware in restaurants and shops located on hotel property.

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