There have been 449 data breaches reported in media in 2008, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center’s 2008 Data Breach List. That number exceeds the 2007 year-end total, and counts as only one breach even massive incidents such as the Hannaford Bros. breach. Note that some of the breaches in the 2008 list were reported in 2008 but occurred in earlier years.
The public availability of the breach information reported by media and catalogued in the Data Breach List is a direct result of the data breach notification laws of 44 states. As a reminder, the most recent list of state data breach laws is available here on the Proskauer on Privacy blog.