Cyber attacks are far too commons. Here are some of the biggest breaches in recent history.
Usually hackers have time, so they choose to spy before stealing data . But it’s too late for companies: they already got what they were looking for.
Sometimes they hit exactly right to crack the whole system: that’s why some of the attacks can be spectacular.
They are the new thieves generation , trying to rob the Harry Potter safe deposit box at Gringotts.
As a company, you have to cast some complex and mysterious spells to stop them from going further.
Here are five cyber attacks cases, in which data breaches compromised the whole company system, and affected millions of people.
Discovered in 2010, this multi part worm named STUXNET caused some huge damages into the Natanz nuclear power station in IRAN.
This virus wasn’t created to steal data , it was spying and sabotaging the entire industrial system.
Based on many cyber security experts analysis, the attack could be launched by both the USA and Israel to stop the Iranian nuclear program.
They wanted to create a cyber bomb instead of a nuclear one.
From now on, a new era is born : The cyber war. Indeed, this worm made a lot of companies ,experts or governments realize the real international impact of malwares.
Wannacry: The biggest ransomware
May 2017: Wannacry appeared on the Internet and affected over 300.000 computers in more than 150 countries. At this time people just knew about the way cyber criminals were stealing data by encrypting them before asking for a ransom to get them back.
To do so, they used the classic way : Sneaking into the email boxes by sending hundreds of infected ones.
Many companies have been affected as Vodafone ,FedEx , Renault , Deutsche Bahn or the Russian Ministry of the internal affairs.
Nowadays , Wannacry is considered as one of the most devastating malware ever created.
But it seems that in 2020 the public opinion about any ransomware is too weak, which makes the threat even more dangerous.
As we were talking about an email boxes’ intrusion, this one appears to be similar, with one difference: This time the hacking has only one goal: Proving some superiority.
Ashley Madison is an online dating service for married people only. Adultery is quite the main subject of this social networking website.
In July 2015, the attack was devastating because hundreds of personal data have been stolen: Names, addresses, credit card numbers, censored photos or confidential messages .
The potential data leaks could ruin many lives and that’s what happened.
Unfortunately, that’s what happened : For example both an American pastor, John Gibson and a policeman committed suicide due to this scandal (https://www.lepoint.fr/monde/l-affaire-ashley-madison-s-aggrave-avec-le-suicide-d-un-pasteur-americain-09-09-2015-1963466_24.php).
The first thing for hackers was to threatened the website administrator, ordering them to shut down the network before spreading their data into the deep web.
The website team refused to be blackmailed and tried to fix their failures as fast as they could.
But, frustrated ,they kept their word and spread the whole data system as promised. Lives were entirely destroyed because of this infernal spiral, and lawyers or private detectives used those information to solve their current cases.
The social network, still active today, will immeasurably suffer from this attack.
April 2011: A terrible breakdown appeared into the Playstation Network. The Playstation 3 online platform suddenly went down for several weeks , affecting over 77 million people all over the world. They couldn’t reach the Playstation Network to play online during a long period.
What a terrible nightmare for the Sony Company, which didn’t admit any failure or any personal data leak in the first place . Their reputation suffered from it.
A few days before the PSN shutdown ,the hackers found some breaches into the PSN system and broke into it. They found a lot of different personal data but also payment and password histories. It appears that all of those information were unprotected and easily accessible.
Then Sony took more than two months to secure their customers , fix all of the network servers and shut thousands of hidden backdoors down.
Nine years later; this disaster still harms Sony’s image and always will, accused of many things such as a lack of communication and protection.
The DDOS cyberattack against GITHUB
This is the final case but not the weakest one.
The Distributed-Denial-of-service attack pushed the limits of this type of threats.
Indeed, this cyberattack was different in a way that not only one but several sources were involved to make it impossible for the victim to stop it easily.
In February 2018, The GitHub platform (an online hosting service and software management) was the victim of the biggest DDOS attack ever seen.
Their server has been saturated with hundreds of requests per second, which has an immediate effect : The Shutdown .At the most saturated point we registered a peak of 1.35 tb/s .
To reach this speed the hackers took advantage of a software that can be found in a lot of servers : Memcached . Its normal use would be to accelerate the access at the data base, but if wrongly configured it can multiply one request by 51 000. A real highway for hackers then.
Hopefully for GiftHub , their backup servers replaced the infected one only a few seconds after the attack.
This threat only touched their ego because nothing was stolen in the end. It can be seen as a big demonstration of the hackers’ strength.
So these five examples can illustrate the actual failures in many companies’ systems.
The only way to avoid or quickly fix the damages would be to monitor the devices 24/7 to prevent any potential attack.
Good news: We can do it for you
It could be seen as your company being the Wall in Game of Thrones, hackers the white soldier and we are the Night’s Watch.