3 million in Washington affected by data breaches over year

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson says nearly 3 million people in the state had their information compromised in data breaches in the past year.

In a report released Wednesday, Ferguson said that the number — based on those impacted between July 2016 and this past July — is six times the number affected by breaches the previous year.

The annual report comes following news of the data break at credit-monitoring company Equifax that affected more than 145 million people in the U.S.

According to the report, 78 data breaches compromised the personal information of more than 2.7 million in the state. That is nearly double the amount of reported breaches the previous year, when 39 breaches affected more than 450,000 residents.

Cyberattacks accounted for the largest share of the breaches, the report said, while the remainder were from third-party vendors or employees gaining access to information, or due to loss or theft of equipment or hardware.