Donating blood is an altruistic act that can help save lives, so our society should do its best to encourage this kind of giving. Unfortunately, cybersecurity issues like the one that Red Cross Blood Service ended up dealing with in late 2016 can have the opposite effect. According to some, this was actually the largest data breach that the nation of Australia has experienced to date. A great deal of information was leaked, including the answers to true-false questionnaires containing private data. On the upside, it does not appear that there is much potential for this information to be used for harm. Keep reading to learn about Red Cross and the data emergency they suffered.
Breach and Data
Part of the problem with the Red Cross data emergency is the scope of people affected. It’s estimated that about half a million people who donated blood through Red Cross between 2010 and 2016 had some of their information leaked during the breach. An eligibility questionnaire asked potential donors if they had engaged in potentially risky sexual behavior in the previous year, which is private information that can have harmful consequences on a person’s career and image.
Potential for Damages
Although this type of security scare is important to learn from, it appears that the potential for damage is low. A security expert claims that the files have been deleted, but this was still one of the largest—if not the largest overall—cyber security leak that Australia has experienced to this point.