This week the news of a massive hack on the social network Twitter was reported, which would have compromised the accounts of important personalities such as Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos or Barack Obama.
An unprecedented hack that joins a long list of quite famous cases that have affected many entities and characters public in recent years. Data leaks from user accounts and theft of personal data have reported record numbers year after year since we launched the 21st century.
The data is shocking, with the data stolen counting by hundreds of millions. And, unfortunately, both the legislation in force in several countries and the measures adopted by large companies have always acted inefficiently and always after these cyber attacks.
As a reminder, today we bring you a selection with 10 biggest computer attacks in history. Curiously, the vast majority occurred in the last decade. Let’s go there!
We open this list with the most recent case of mass hacking. Specifically, that of several official Twitter accounts of important people and companies. Those affected include names such as Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Barack Obama, and Joe Biden, or the official accounts of Apple and Uber.
After accessing them, the hackers proceeded to post multiple tweets impersonating the victims and offering to return double bitcoins to those users who enter a certain amount of cryptocurrencies to an address agreed by criminals.
The most curious thing about this attack is that it has been able to circumvent authentication in two steps. And yes, it smells of scam everywhere, but there are always those who bite into this type of cheating. After all, for a company like Apple to say that it gives you money for your face, more than one will have thought that it makes all the sense in the world.
Let’s go back to April last year. Researchers at the cybersecurity company UpGuard, discover that an enormous amount of data about users of the social network Facebook was exposed to the public from the Amazon database by the Mexican news company Cultura Colectiva. They had come to store data of up to 540 million users on Amazon servers in a way that allowed anyone to download them.
It was one of the many data breaches in which Facebook has been involved. The information held by Cultura Colectiva contained the description of users’ interests and interactions with other accounts.
Posted by Cultura Colectiva on Wednesday, April 3, 2019
On the other hand, from the Mexican website they limited themselves to releasing a statement from their social networks indicating that the exposed data did not include sensitive or confidential information.
Ashley Madison (2015)
The Ashley Madison case comes loaded with high doses of irony. Imagine that an extramarital dating website exposes your clients’ personal data in full view of everyone on the web. Of course, nobody would want your name to be related to a website of this nature.
Well that was the nightmare suffered by the 37 million adulterers who had the misfortune to register with the famous infidelity service à la carte. Hackers threatened to post nude photos and other sensitive customer information unless they closed the web.
Of course, the infidels did not make it too difficult for cybercriminals, since among the 3 most repeated passwords on the site were the mythical ‘123456’, ‘12345’, and ‘pasword’. We never seem to learn.
This case was perhaps the most talked about on this list, both due to the profile of the victims and the nature of the crime itself. The case named ‘Celebgate’ was a scandalous theft of private material from various celebrities that was posted on the trolls forum image board par excellence 4chan.
The material that was published was mostly owned by famous women who were naked. These photos were later viralized on other portals such as Reddit or Tumblr.
According to subsequent investigations, the hacker responsible for this theft wanted to make a fortune with this material by selling it to the highest bidder In Internet. But when encountering certain complications to obtain money in exchange for them, he decided to make them public on these portals.
Among some of those affected were famous actresses such as Jennifer Lawrence, Kaley Cuoco or Kirsten Dunst.
The famous e-commerce service eBay was also the victim of a cyberattack in 2014, in which a substantial amount of information was taken from both employees and customers of the platform. It was never clear how many people were affected, but the company warned 145 million of its users to change their access data to your accounts, just in case.
Still, few hesitate to classify this massive attack on Ebay’s database as one of the biggest data thefts ever, based on the estimated number of accounts.
Cyber criminals seized all kinds of information, from passwords, email addresses, birth dates, email addresses and other personal data. Of course, financial data such as credit card numbers, were safe.
Sony Pictures (2014)
Another case that many will remember is the great cyberattack suffered by Sony’s film division. Considered as the largest made to an American company in its entire history.
This security breach exposed a bunch of company business secretsAmong others, that actresses Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams charged less than their male companions for appearing in the movie “American Hustle”, or that the Spider-Man character could be used by Marvel Studios under certain conditions.
The international gaze, and especially the United States, was directed at that time towards North Korea, after having issued several threats with the premiere of the movie The Interview, which satirized the figure of Kim Jong Un.
However, these suspicions were never resolved, and there are indications that even pointed to several former employees of the company.
The Yahoo case, which occurred in 2013, was especially serious since its 3,000 million accounts (all the ones I had back then) were stolen. A gigantic security breach that exposed the popular telecommunications company.
The massive data hacking allowed attackers to access real names, usernames, emails, conversations, phone numbers, dates of birth, passwords, and even digital signatures.
In its subsequent statements, the company blamed the attack on a group of hackers hired by state agencies, although without mentioning any particular country. Although these types of veiled accusations always often refer to Russian or Chinese attackers.
Another of the big social networks hacked and with the Access data of its users exposed to the highest bidder in a Russian forum. Not one is spared.
It was the first major data theft that Linkedin suffered, and that affected more than 6.5 million users by then. For its part, the company hastened to force all these users to change their access data immediately.
The truth is that in the case of Linkedin, the matter is quite delicate if we consider that it is a social network focused on the professional world. The misuse that third parties, with not very good intentions, could do with these profiles, could wreak havoc on users and harm their careers.
In 2012 several Dropbox users began to receive massive spam in their mailbox. Surprised, many of these users began to wonder what had happened, at which point Dropbox recognized that a cybercriminal had managed to access the profile of a Dropbox employee and steal a list with all these email addresses.
Immediately they began to send recommendations to the entire community to update their passwords both in Dropbox and in other services, if they were the same. After all, using the same login data across multiple platforms is fairly common practice, and that’s why it is always recommended to use different access codes.
But it was not until 4 years later, in 2016, that the company revealed that the total number of affected accounts amounted to 68 million users.
MySpace, the first great social network in the world that had its moment of glory between 2005 and 2008, but like many others, ended up condemned to oblivion before the unstoppable rise of Facebook.
In 2016, a huge hack of 360 million accounts was discovered, although it is stipulated that the attack actually occurred in 2008 during the course of the subsequent investigation. The truth is that, even though the company reinforced the 2013 security measures, it was already too late.
All in all, MySpace had a terrible reputation for being very easy to hack (there are even tutorials on the internet that teach you how). No password is required to access an account, it is enough to have the email, a nickname and the date of birth of the user. If you still have yours, mail it to delete it completely foolish.
So far our list with the 10 most talked about hacks in history. As we can see, the amount of data stolen, as well as the number of cases of breaches and hacks, is constantly increasing in a hellish escalation. A dynamic in which it seems that cybercriminals always go one step beyond the cybersecurity standards of these large corporations.
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