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Study: Iran has the highest data breach density worldwide

According to cybersecurity company Surfshark, Iran has 231 breached email accounts per 100 internet users



Graphics courtesy Surfshark
Graphics courtesy Surfshark

A recent study conducted by Cybersecurity company Surfshark on national data breach rates, reveals that Iran has the highest breach density globally, with 231 breached email accounts per 100 internet users.


Bangladesh has the lowest breach density in the continent and the

second-lowest worldwide (0,6 emails per 100 users).


“Looking at the data breaches landscape in 2021, we see that 71.7% of the analyzed

countries have a lower breach density than the global average. This shows that hackers

usually target particular countries such as Russia and the U.S. more than others,” says

Agneska Sablovskaja, Data Researcher at Surfshark.


“However, 6% of all analyzed countries have an extremely high data breach density. To put this into perspective, more than half of internet users in countries such as the U.S., Iran, Israel, the UAE, and Qatar got breached in 2021.”

Asia has the second-lowest breach density on a continental level with 12 breached emails,

while Africa bottoms the list with only 4 breached emails per 100 internet users. Meanwhile,

North America has the highest, with 1 in 2 internet users being breached in 2021. This

number is three times higher than the global average.


What are the most popular cybercrimes worldwide?


Data breaches are not the one and only way for criminals to get access to victims’

information. According to Surfshark’s study, phishing continues to be the most common

cybercrime for the second year in a row.


In 2020, there were a total of 241,343 phishing victims. However, on average, phishing

victims lost the least amount of money ($136 per victim), while people who fell victim to

investment fraud lost the most ($70,811 per victim on average).


At the same time, investment fraud had the highest financial impact in total on its victims.

People lost about $1,5B this way in 2021. That year the least impactful online crime was the

Denial of Service (DoS) attacks – only around 1000 victims reported this crime with an

average loss of $197.


“As the geopolitical tensions grow, we might see more cyber warfare and 0day spyware

similar to Pegasus,” explains Aleksandr Valentij, Security Officer at Surfshark.


In total, cybercrime claimed at least 6,502,323 victims and $26,116,000,000 in losses over

the 21-year period.


Surfshark has developed a Data Vulnerability Thermometer combining open-source FBI information and research algorithms. The online tool gives users their personal risk score, possible specific cybercrimes, and prevention tactics depending on the data points selected.

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