We saw amazing innovations in the world of technology in 2017, from self-driving cars and semis to this crazy back-flipping robot. And behind every technological innovation lies an operating system full of complex circuits and remarkably confusing algorithms. Unfortunately, behind every great operating system, there’s also a group of cybercriminals trying to hack their way in.
In 2017, we seemed to experience more cybercrime than ever before. Frequent cyberattacks in the media left us wondering how vulnerable our own personal information was at every moment. Here’s a look back at 10 of the most notorious cybercrime stories from 2017:
In May, the WannaCry ransomware attack exploded into Microsoft Windows operating systems and demanded ransom payments in the form of Bitcoin cryptocurrency. More than 200,000 computers across 150 countries were affected, costing billions of dollars to various industries worldwide. The attack was eventually attributed to North Korean hackers and ultimately led to such exploits as EternalBlue and WannaMine.
On June 27th, Ukrainian companies realized that they were being attacked by a new version of 2016’s Petya attacks. That very same day, countries across Europe, Asia, and North America were also affected, wiping data from computers of government officials, banks, and several other industries. The CIA declared that Russian military hackers were to blame for the devious ransomware.
- KRACK Attack
In October, researchers published details of “Key Reinstallation Attacks,” better known by its acronym, “KRACK”. It was a technique used by hackers to steal sensitive information via protected WIFI networks, hitting Android and Linux devices the worst while also affecting Microsoft, Apple and other major software platforms.
- Bad Rabbit
Also in October, the ransomware attack known as Bad Rabbit took organizations worldwide under siege. The infection disguised itself as an Adobe Flash Installer while using the same code as the Petya virus to freeze computer systems and demand hefty ransoms in return.
- Equifax Breach
On September 18, Bloomberg News reported what is now considered one of the worst breaches in history. Equifax, one of the largest credit bureaus, was victimized in March by a “major breach of its computer systems.” Roughly 145 million people were affected by the breach, exposing Social Security numbers, mailing addresses, birth dates, and other personal details to cybercriminals worldwide. The public still doesn’t know who is responsible for the hack.
- Uber Cover-Up
In November, Uber revealed that they had paid hackers $100,000 to keep secret a massive breach in 2016 that exposed the data of 57 million accounts of Uber customers. Since then, lawmakers have been questioning Uber officials and threatening jail time to those involved in the cover-up.
- Yahoo Bombshell
Yahoo’s parent company, Verizon, announced in October that every single Yahoo account was hacked in 2013 – a whopping total of 3 billion accounts. This was three times as many accounts as former CEO Marissa Mayer originally testified to Congress. A Canadian hacker plead guilty to his involvement in November.
- SEC Breach
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) experienced a breach in 2016 that wasn’t made public until September of 2017. It allowed for intruders to trade on inside information and exposed extensive company financial filings. Like Uber, the SEC was criticized for lacking appropriate cybersecurity protections and not revealing the attack until a year later.
9. PayPal Problems
PayPal shut down operations in November upon finding out that a company they had recently acquired, known as TIO Networks, were victims of a major data breach. The breach is believed to have exposed up to 1.6 million customers’ personal information.
10. Voter Records Exposed
In June, security firm UpGuard disclosed that nearly 200 million voter records were exposed online as a result of improper security settings in Amazon’s cloud storage service. Verizon and the U.S. Department of Defense also revealed that they were victims as well.
While we want to forget about all of these cyberattacks, it’s important that we recollect on them to learn from our mistakes and strengthen our defenses for the future. At Stability Networks, we’re continuing to keep up with cybercriminal activity to keep our clients protected. Contact us today if your company is looking for protection against future scary cybercrimes in the future!