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The greatest data thefts in history

by Laura Domela

November 04, 2011 at 4:22 PM

enigma.jpg
Enigma Machine An Enigma machine in use in 1943. The Enigma was a complex cryptography tool used by the Axis--and cracked by the allies--in World War II. German Federal Archive

Stealing information can be just as lucrative--and destructive--as stealing anything else. Our look at the history of data theft touches on some of the major (or just really interesting) crimes in history. The father of the American Industrial Revolution? A glorified data thief. That tea you're drinking (let's say just for the duration of this sentence, you are drinking tea)? That's a stolen secret recipe, the theft of which involved a Scotsman dressed up in "traditional mandarin garb." And if you're a PlayStation Network user or a Gawker commenter, you'll be familiar with some of the latter items on our list. via PopSci

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