A data breach is the intentional or unintentional release of secure or private/confidential information to an untrusted environment. Incidents range from concerted attack by hackers, sometimes associated with the organised crime, political activists or national governments to careless disposal of used computer equipment or data storage media.
Most such incidents publicized in the media involve private information on individuals. Loss of corporate information such as trade secrets or sensitive corporate information,
or of government information is frequently unreported, as there is no
compelling reason to do so in the absence of potential damage to private
citizens, and the publicity around such an event may be more damaging
than the loss of the data itself.