Cyber attacks have had a long history, with perpetrators being individuals, anonymous groups or even governments. While some have been targeted cyber warfares or espionages, some others are related to stealing of personal data to make financial gains.
Here are the top ten worst cyber crimes in history:
- Mother of all logic bombs: Logic bomb attacks are well known and refer to a line of code in a system that spurs disruptive behavior upon fulfilling a criterion such as a time-lapse or a lack of response to a command. The “mother of all logic bombs” was during the cold war when the U.S. disrupted the gas pipeline in Siberia without the use of explosives. Instead of traditional bombs, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) used a computer code to cause the explosion in the gas pipeline.
- WannaCry hit the headlines: The most recent and widespread cybercrime was with the WannaCry virus attack that happened in May 2017. Targeting the Windows OS, the ransomware demanded payments in cryptocurrency. It is estimated that more than 150 countries and 300,000 computers were infected with this virus.
- Yahoo! under attack: This one figure in the many lists of the top ten worst cybercrimes. Yahoo! was subjected to two of the worst cybercrimes in terms of data breaches in the recent times. The Internet portal revealed the details of the cybercrimes recently in 2016. The first cybercrime was in 2013 when five hundred million user accounts were compromised on Yahoo! The second attack happened in 2014 with again more than a billion user accounts being compromised. The data breach included leaks of email IDs, passwords, names, phone numbers, date of birth, and security questions.
- Sony suffers cyber-attack: In 2011, Sony’s PlayStation Network was subject to DDoS attacks from an anonymous group. More than 77 million user data was leaked and Sony admitted credit card data could have been compromised as well.
- Attack on Sony pictures: Sony was again in news in 2014 and this time it was a cyber-attack on Sony Pictures. Guardians of Peace (GOP) – a cybercrime group- used a virus to blackmail Sony after stealing sensitive data worth 100 terabytes.
- JP Morgan hit by cybercrime: More than 76 million U.S. households were hit by the cyber-attack on JP Morgan Chase in 2014. Three men, believed to be based in Israel, were arrested in 2015 in connection with the cyber-attack.
- Global banks targeted: In what was termed as the “biggest bank cybercrime” in history, £650 million went missing from banks across the world. Russian hackers are believed to have worked for two years to pull off the bank heist targeting hundred plus institutions across the globe. The hackers gained access to banks’ computers to instruct ATM’s to dole out cash without the use of cards.
- Estonian cyberwar: Parliament, ministries, banks, and newspapers were subject to the biggest cyber-attack in Estonia in 2007. This series of cyber-attacks was the largest one that used sophisticated methods. These DoS (Denial of Service) attacks that were also dubbed “web war I” were the result of the protest against the removal of a Soviet War monument.
- Epsilon email IDs: The Epsilon data breach resulted in a damage worth between $225 million to $4 billion in 2011. Hackers stole email addresses and usernames of some of the clients of the marketing services company that included McDonald’s, JP Morgan, and Walgreens among others.
- DNS server attack: Called the worst “DDoS attack” this cyber-attack in 2016 targeted the DNS server that resulted in the loss of Internet access to users in Europe and North America for hours. A malware called “Mirai” was found to be behind the attack.