China's Hack of 4.5 Million U.S. Medical Records? This Chart Will Make You Sick

Photographer: Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg

Divya Shroff, associate chief of staff at the Veterans Administration Hospital, left, shows medical students the facility's electronic medical records system in Washington, D.C. Close

Divya Shroff, associate chief of staff at the Veterans Administration Hospital, left,... Read More

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Photographer: Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg

Divya Shroff, associate chief of staff at the Veterans Administration Hospital, left, shows medical students the facility's electronic medical records system in Washington, D.C.

The Chinese hacking group that stole 4.5 million patient records from a Tennessee hospital chain may have gained some bragging rights from the heist, but they haven't come close to entering the ranks of the biggest breaches of all time. In fact, they haven't even cracked the top 10.

The attack has gained notoriety for its methods, rather than its size — the hacking group has been prolific in attacking U.S. medical-device companies and drug makers. The chart below shows how the Chinese breach compares with others.

The ranking provides little solace if you're one of the people whose personal information was stolen and used for identity theft. Yet, with security-software maker Symantec calling this the era of the "mega-breach" and some attacks hitting the nine digits, it's worth remembering that hackers have many, many other ways to obtain personal information.

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