2017 was quite a year for cyber attacks. According to Hackmageddon.com, every month saw dozens of serious cyber attacks affecting the personal information of billions of internet users worldwide.
Shocked? We were too.
We were too.
BullGuard outlined some of the biggest ones in a recent blog post.
The WannaCry ransomware spread through 150 countries affecting more than 300,000 computers including the UK’s National Health Service, FedEx, rail stations, universities, car manufacturers and a national telco.
It spread rapidly because of a worm-like component expedited by a large number of organisations using unpatched XP operating systems.
It was considered among the worst breaches of all time because of the amount of sensitive information that was taken.
Yahoo dropped a bombshell in August 2017 announcing that every one of its three billion accounts was hacked in 2013.
This was three times what was first thought to be the case. According to the former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, the company only found out about the breach in 2016 when it reported that 1 billion accounts were hacked.
The company still doesn’t know who was responsible.
National Security Agency
The National Security Agency (NSA) is responsible for spying on other countries and mass surveillance of its citizens.
As you would expect, it has an arsenal of cyber tools for hacking into foreign banks, infrastructure, government departments, etc. However, a group of hackers called Shadow Brokers leaked a suite of hacking tools widely believed to belong to the NSA, which were then used in some of the year’s most significant global cyber attacks, including Wanna Cry.
Back in 2016, hackers stole the data of 57 million Uber customers. The company paid the hackers $100,000 to cover it up. The breach was only made public in November 2017 by the new Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi.
It also turns out that Uber was also playing on the other side of the fence too. A former member of Uber’s security team recently revealed details about a secretive unit within Uber dedicated to stealing trade secrets, spying on competitors, using self-destructing messages and dodging government regulators.
What can we expect in 2018?
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out that a prime target of the hackers is going to be the Internet of Things.
Smart devices face the same cybersecurity challenges as your desktop PC, laptop and smartphone. The only difference being that smart devices are attached to real things in the real world.
As BullGuard reports:
“When someone hacks a PC, personal data is at risk. But when someone hacks a robotic manufacturing arm that entire manufacturing line is at risk, if someone hacks a medical monitor a patient is at risk, if some hacks a smart lighting system that smart home is at risk.”