Cyber warfare appears to be dominating headlines as of late and the risk of cyber threat is a problem that many industries continue to face. For some, the impact can be devastating, with data loss costing millions.
Data Hacks That Shook The World
Here’s a recap of some of the most astounding data breaches of all time, many of which could have easily been avoided with a few simple security measures.
Teen hacks NASA and US Defence
In 1999, 15 year old Jonathan James managed to install a ‘backdoor’ on the US Department of Defence servers which enabled him to intercept thousands of government usernames and passwords. Using this information, he stole a piece of NASA software which cost the agency $41,000 as systems were shut down for three weeks. The software in question was used to control the temperature and humidity within the International Space Station.
MafiaBoy causes $1 billion dollars in damages
In 2000, Michael Calce a.k.a MafiaBoy, a 15 year old in the US caused an estimated $1.2 billion in damages when he unleashed a DDoS attack on a number of eCommerce giants including eBay and Amazon. DDoS is a type of DoS attack where multiple compromised systems, which are often infected with a Trojan, are used to target a single system causing a Denial of Service (DoS) attack.
LinkedIn lost over 117 million email and password combinations
In 2012, LinkedIn learned the hard way and hit the headlines when they allegedly lost over 117 million email and password combinations. The data had been stolen and made freely online which prompted the organisation to advise users to change their passwords as soon as possible. This cyber attack was particularly shocking as lives were at risk due to doctors being unable to access patients medical history. Those awaiting heart surgery were among those who had operations cancelled, with doctors telling how staff were frantically ordering computers to be shut down.
NHS attack infected computers across England
Ransomware was used to threaten the NHS, demanding that they send money in exchange for them to be able to access their data including patient records. The software prevents the data from being accessed and threatens to delete it unless a payment is made.
We have provided some top tips to help lower your risk of cyber threat:
- Don’t leave devices such as laptops and mobiles unattended
- Use strong passwords and ensure that you don’t use the same one for every site/device
- Don’t plug unknown devices into your computer as they can contain malicious software
- Don’t download software if you have any doubt about its trustworthiness
- Do not share untrustworthy links on social media
- Ensure that recipients of any sensitive information you are sending are genuine
- Use secure and trusted eCommerce platforms for your website
- Keep your eCommerce platform up to date to benefit from any vital security updates
- Use protection against DDoS attacks
- Important data should be backed up regularly and stored in a secure, offsite location