The 10 Biggest Hacking Attacks of All Time
The web is the destination when it comes to finding any kind of information. When experts say that the internet is the largest computer network in the world, they mean it by both numbers and reach. There is no doubt that every device that has a web connection is part of this large system that makes the world one big digital village. While there are many opportunities that have come because of the web, there are also a number of challenges that have risen. The biggest of them is hacking. Hacking has led to the collapse of businesses and the loss of resources. The following are some of the biggest hacks of all time that have shaken the web fraternity.
1. Melissa Virus
The Melissa Virus was one of the first ever large scale attacks. While the hack itself was not sophisticated according to modern standards, it was big enough to affect thousands of people who were previously not aware of virus attacks. The virus was spread as a Word document attachment which spread when opened by the computer user. It would send itself to the user’s first 50 people in the contact list. The virus led to huge setbacks for businesses around the world.
2. Sven Jaschan Hack
In 2004, Sven Jaschan, a German college student was able to bring down major companies networks using a worm. The 18-year-old created the Sasser worm from his bedroom and he released it on the web. The worm went on to bring to a halt Delta Airlines which had to cancel its flights for a while as its systems went down. The worm caused damaged of a half a billion dollars as a result of infecting millions of computers.
3. Operation Shady RAT
In 2007, various organizations across the world were attacked in a series of hacks that were concluded to have been solely for information theft. The details of the attack have never been fully explored beyond the claims that China was involved. A number of attacks before the 2008 Olympic games were orchestrated in the same manner and this led many to believe that China was behind them.
4. Estonia DDoS Attacks
There have been many attacks that have been blamed on espionage. One of the most prolific of such attacks is the Estonia attack in 2007. This attack was characterized by a series of consecutive DDoS attacks. The government and its websites were attacked and the blame was put on Russia. This was so because the two countries were having diplomatic disputes at the time.
Experts recommend the use of VPN in order to boost the privacy and security of networks. In the 2010s, companies like ExpressVPN have redefined the industry in terms of service provision. In 2011, VPNs were not as commonly used as they are today. Epsilon, an email marketing firm, was hacked and it became the first of a series of attacks on big corporations that defined that year.
6. PlayStation Network Hack
As part of the major attacks of 2011, the PlayStation network was attacked by a hacking syndicate going by the name LulzSec. The attack on the network resulted in the breach of user data. Over 70 million users were affected and the network had to close down for three weeks.
7. CitiGroup Hack
Another major attack that happened in 2011 is the CitiGroup hack. This attack led to the loss of $2.7 million in a situation where the bank was criticized for its weak online security system. The attack came to be viewed as a lesson in cybersecurity laxity.
8. Mt Gox Hack
By 2014, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies had already become entrenched in the market. The Mt Gox attack resulted in the loss of nearly half a billion dollars. This attack happened due to weak database security. The attacks stole customer information and used it to steal currency.
The 2017 WannaCry ransomware attack was one of the biggest attacks that caught headlines for most of the year. This attack on older Windows systems affected tens of thousands of people all over the globe. The ransomware managed to bring major institutions to a halt.
10. Facebook Attack
The 2018 Facebook hack is the most recent major attack. Over 50 million users were affected in this attack that saw users lose personal information. The attack resulted in a lawsuit against Facebook which cost the network millions.