Data theft is off to a troubling start this year, with two massive breaches occurring in March and April. Hackers' success in grabbing millions of records at Epsilon and Sony are just the latest example of increasingly sophisticated attempts to steal sensitive personal information. Here's a list of the five most expensive data theft cases in the United States:
The names, birth dates, and Social Security numbers of 17.5 million military veterans and personnel were stolen in 2006 from a laptop that a Department of Veterans Affairs employee had taken home. The costs to the VA included money for running call centers, sending out mailings, and and paying for a year of a credit-monitoring service for victims. The Ponemon Institute, a research organization in Traverse City, Mich., estimates the breach cost at least $25 million.
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