Cyber attacks have been around for almost as long as there has been cyberspace, and they are on the rise. Most modern companies have ways to protect themselves, but the effects of the attacks themselves can still be devastating. Today, we’ll look at some of the biggest cyber attacks – and to lighten the mood – some of the funniest cyber attacks.
10. 2011 Sony’s PlayStation Network
The 2011 PlayStation Network outage (also known as the PSN Hack) was caused by an “external intrusion” on Sony’s PlayStation Network and Qriocity services, which compromised the personal information of about 77 million accounts and rendered the service unavailable to users of PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable consoles.
Sony was forced to shut down the PlayStation Network on April 20 as a result of the attack, which took place between April 17 and April 19, 2011. On May 4, Sony acknowledged that each of the 77 million accounts had had personally identifiable information compromised. It was down for 23 days.
9. Operation Cupcake
Inspire is an English-language online magazine reported to be published by the organization al-Qaeda and in 2010 they published their first issue, which had bomb-making instructions titled “Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of your Mom” written by the “AQ Chef”. Instead, a page of recipes from The Ellen Degeneres Show’s Best Cupcakes in America was shown to the terrorists in mangled code. The cyber attack effort was known as “Operation Cupcake” by MI6.
8. Ukraine’s Power Grid Attack
In 2015, the Ivano-Frankivsk region of Ukraine experienced the first cyberattack on a power grid, which caused almost half of the residents there to lose power for a few hours. Customers of Chernivtsioblenergo and Kyivoblenergo, two other energy distribution firms, were also impacted by a cyberattack at the same time, albeit on a lower scale. Attacks were carried out, according to representatives of one of the companies, from computers with IP addresses assigned to the Russian Federation.
The Russians were able to access Ukraine’s power grid because it was built when Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union and has been upgraded with Russian parts. Russian attackers are as familiar with the software as the network operators. The attack showed Ukraine’s need for an infrastructure transformation.
7. Lil Wayne Lyrics Posted on Donald Trumps Twitter Account
Although Donald Trump frequently tweets weird things, things took a particularly bizarre turn in 2013. The unknown assailant succeeded in taking over the account and publishing thein messages online.
The most notable of them just so happened to be a tweet with lyrics from a rap song by Lil Wayne, “These hoes think they classy, well that’s the class I’m skippen.” Trump, unfortunately, got his account back and by that very Friday was posting his latest fear-mongering theory about China.
6. NASA Cyber Attack
Jonathan James, who was 15 at the time, earned a spot in the hacker’s hall of fame thanks to what he accomplished that year. James had gained access to a US Department of Defense division’s computers and placed a “backdoor” on its servers. The teenager was also able to shut down NASA’s computers for 21 days.
This enabled him to intercept tens of thousands of internal communications from multiple government agencies, including emails that contained login information for different military computers. James was able to steal a piece of NASA software using the data that had been stolen, the affected systems cost $41,000 in lost productivity due to the three-week system outage.
5. Burger King’s Twitter Account Got Hacked
The logical next step for a hacker who takes over a significant fast-food chain’s social media account is to change the account’s name and profile picture to that of its biggest competitor. When an unidentified attacker gained access to Burger King’s Twitter account in February 2013, it was exactly this scenario that occurred. They chose to troll the account rather than use this information for any harmful purposes. As a result, there were multiple messages indicating that the business had been acquired by McDonald’s, and the name and logo were changed to reflect the fabled golden arches.
4. Adobe Cyber Attack
The cyberattack, which was initially believed to have compromised the personal information of 2.9M individuals, later, confirmed by Adobe themselves that, as many as 38M users’ data had been compromised. According to Adobe, the first 2.9M users only had their passwords and credit card information stolen, whereas the subsequent 35.1M users simply had their passwords and IDs lost.
The popular photo-editing tool Photoshop’s source code was stolen, according to a statement from Adobe. It had previously disclosed that the source code for its ColdFusion web application construction software and Acrobat PDF document editing tools had also been unlawfully accessed.
3. 2017 WannaCry ransomware attack
The WannaCry attack, one of the biggest ransomware attacks, was a worm that spread to several Windows PCs in May 2017. The worm had distributed software that jumbled user computer data into meaningless information and demanded payment from affected users of $300 in Bitcoin within three days or $600 in Bitcoin within seven days before destroying all of the data on the infected computer. The globe had to spend millions to billions of dollars to fix its servers and systems because of the infection.
North Korean computer hacker Park Jin-hyok was the one who launched the ransomware attack. The US Department of Justice filed charges against Park Jin-hyok on September 6, 2018, alleging that he helped create the WannaCry ransomware virus and was also responsible for the 2014 Sony Pictures attack.
2. Biggest Password Leak
In June 2021, it was revealed that a database containing 8.4 billion passwords had been compromised. The RockYou2021 password leak, which is by far the largest password leak, is named after the 2009 RockYou website breach that exposed almost 32M accounts. This is the biggest password leak to date.
The collection was exposed on a well-known hacking forum. A forum user shared a large 100GB TXT file with over 8.4 billion passcode entries, which are thought to have been aggregated from earlier data thefts and leaks. The same user claims the compilation contains 82 billion combinations, but other checks showed that the actual number is 8,000,000,000 distinct entries, which is ten times less than what the user claimed.
1. The Melissa Virus
The Melissa Virus launched one of the first and most significant cyber threats. By sending consumers a file intended to be opened by Microsoft Word in 1999, coder David Lee Smith unleashed the Melissa Virus. Numerous businesses, including Microsoft, were severely damaged by the malware. The cost of fixing the damaged systems was projected to be over $80 million.
The virus caused severe destruction while not being designed to steal money or information. More than 300 businesses and governmental organizations throughout the world had to shut down all of their email servers due to overload, including Microsoft. One million email accounts were affected, and in certain places, Internet traffic slowed to a standstill.Sydney Unleashed is one of Australia’s premier entertainment publications exploring the latest in lifestyle trends. From Sydney’s finest restaurants, cafes and bars to the hottest in gadgets, products, and home entertainment, Sydney Unleashed is your one-stop lifestyle platform.