The internet introduced Cyber-attacks, a new type of assault in the world. Today, you’ll see the 3 most notorious of all-time.
Simple cyber-attacks, like phishing and ransomware, happen every single day.
Vital information (email addresses, passwords, location) is taken out of you – leaving you vulnerable to the worst things.
Huge corporations have been victims of it as well – with the most notorious ones having a place in today’s top.
IMPORTANT: If attacks like these can harm multi-million dollar companies… Imagine what it could do to you.
Yahoo: 3 Billion Accounts Breached (2013)
Let’s start with the most well-known cyber-attack of the past decade.
Back in 2013, 3 billion accounts were accessed without consent, by supposedly “Russian hackers”.
Yahoo announced just 1 Billion of accounts affected, but sources tell a different story.
Billions of emails, passwords, and other exploitable data were obtained (and later, were obtained by hackers.
Something very similar happened in 2014, with 500 Million accounts.
Yahoo didn’t say anything until 2016. They probably knew about the attacks but didn’t want to lose their users.
Even worst, it happened while Verizon was offering $4.4 Billion to acquire the company.
It produced a $350 Million cut on the deal (which it was still considered as a dirty saved, by the Defense Department Security Expert, Jay Kaplan).
Yes… They lost money in the process. But what happened to the billion users affected?
Apparently, the encrypted security systems were easy to crack. On top of that, hackers could easily create cookies and connect to any account, without needing the password.
None of the users knew that something like that would happen.
This would have all been prevented if Yahoo spent a bit more money on their security measures.
Marriott x Starwood Cyber-attack (2014-2020)
Another huge data breach is that of the hotel company, Marriott. This attack occurred one year after the Yahoo case, in 2014.
The victim was specifically Starwood, a company later bought by Marriott.
No-one believed it at first… The breach was found 4 years later (2018).
Hundreds of millions of accounts were stolen. Passport details and credit card accounts were at the hands of the hackers. The customers couldn’t do anything to prevent that.
Marriott knew nothing about it until then.
According to reports, the attack was probably due to a type of trojan that is usually downloaded from phishing emails. In other words, someone with administrative rights was careless.
Their carelessness made tons of data available to hackers.
This could happen again? You can bet it can…
A new breach was found between mid-January to the end of February 2020.
For them, it meant a huge reputation, and financial hit (the luxurious company got fined £99.2m by breaking GDRP laws).
For you, if related to the Marriott loyalty program, received a phishing email from “email@example.com”, that meant an exposure of addresses, birth dates, gender, email addresses, telephone numbers, room stay preferences, and loyalty account numbers.
Equifax Credit Bureau Cyber-Attack (2017)
One of the most well-known credit bureaus, Equifax, has also been a victim of cyber-attacks.
As a credit bureau, they collect tons of data from users all around the world. This made them a huge target for hackers.
The data breaches happened in the Spring of 2017 and were later announced on September 07 of the same year.
Even though they were reported fairly quickly, the damage was significant.
Around 150 million+ consumers had their personal information stolen. The attackers gained access to information like full names, driver license numbers, social security numbers, and addresses.
All of that happened because Equifax’s security systems were really vulnerable.
The Apache system they used for their web app made an important update available to its users…But Equifax didn’t approach timely enough.
For the attackers, it was a relaxing stroll in the park.
One year later, a PDF report was released by the US GAO (United States Government Accountability Office) with much more details of what happened, how it was approached, and what it could have been improved.
How to Stay Safe?
As you’ve clearly seen, even well-known companies had breaches on security systems. Within, trusted valuable personal data was taken.
The same data that could end up for sale on non-ethical webs.
You wouldn’t want that, would you? Of course, you wouldn’t. That’s why we are here to help you.
At My IT Guy, we strive for your safety. We want you to use the internet, without the fear of having your data leaked by some hackers. And we will do anything and everything to ensure that.
Contact us today and our team will make sure to get back to you as soon as possible.