Sunday, 11 January 2015

[NEWS]Top Worst Cyber Attacks of 2014: An awesome Flashback!

Cyber attacks these days have become more sophisticated and elaborate, raising global concern over time to time. Of course, in the year of 2014 there has been an alarming number of hacking incidents and attacks targeting famous and renowned individuals and organizations.

Let’s take a flashback of the top cyber attacks which took place in the year 2014!

Although technology is progressing too fast and this is great, the same applies to the knowledge and skills of the “hackers” everywhere. So, only by being vigilant and up to date can we expect to develop the right defensive line against attacks and hacking attempts. Let’s have a flashback of the top incidents that have made it to shake the waters of the booming technology industry!

  • Shellshock: This threat emerged in September and has been alternatively known as Bashdoor. The irony behind the Shellshock bug is that it had remained dormant for twenty years before being brought to light. Within just hours after its discovery, DDoS attacks have been triggered with the contribution of this bug. For some, the Shellshock incident has been even more intense than the Heartbleed bug that took place earlier in 2014.
  • Heartbleed: The Heartbleed bug has been a severe vulnerability discovered in the OpenSSL protocol. Apparently, due to the vulnerability that emerged, the cryptographic function of the OpenSSL could not be performed. Without the encryption throughout the Internet traffic, communication can be leaked and data can be intercepted. This is what happened, causing frenzy online back in April and motivating all sites to request changing passwords and taking additional precautions.
  • eBay Attack: 233 million users were stripped off their personal information, according to reports. Between February and March, hackers were able to gain access to usernames and passwords, phone numbers and addresses. This is perhaps the most gigantic data interception of 2014. Payment data has been left intact, but everyone was encouraged to alter all passwords immediately.
  • Home Depot: The company admitted having suffered from a huge cyber attack in a statement published on 18th September, 2014. Unfortunately, 56 million credit and debit cards have been compromised due to this cyber attack. On the bright side, no PIN numbers were affected and therefore no monetary damage was completed to the holders of the cards.
  • Yahoo Email: In January, the email service provider admitted having been under attack with a blog post publishedThough there is no actual number of how many email accounts have been compromised, it is worth considering that Yahoo is the second most popular email service option universally (right after Gmail). It is estimated that about 273 million people have got a Yahoo email account – so, you do the Math!
  • Gmail: Just to set things straight and even the score, Gmail has had 5 million usernames and passwords leaked in a Russian forum in September. In a statement,Gmail reassured the email account owners not to worry and informed of the advanced anti-hijacking service that is available for protecting login attempts from third parties. Still, the concern was grave and the lists were indeed leaked.
  • Apple iCloud in China: This is not the first time the Great Firewall acted against products and services from the US. MITM (Man-In-The-Middle) attack was launched on Apple’s iCloud and confirmed by GreatFire.orgThe Chinese Government is truly strict and does not allow companies to provide innovative technological alternatives to people in China, limiting in this way the liberty they enjoy.
  • JP Morgan Chase: Another serious cyber attack was held on JP Morgan Chase during the summer of 2014. According to the reports, about 80 million households and their accounts have been compromised. You can imagine the range of information that has been leaked, including names and addresses.
  • 4chan Photo Scandal: Starting in August, hundreds of nude photos including celebrities were published online under the banner of FappeningThe photos were obtained via Apple iCloud and there have been severe reactions by the celebrities and people who oppose to the lack of privacy. The scandal is also known as the“Celebgate” and the “Fappening”.
  • Sony PlayStation: One of the most significant DDoS cyber attacks launched in 2014 was that of the group called Lizard Squad against Sony PlayStationThe company announced that no user data has been compromised, but the distress was evident as to what has triggered the attack and the extent of the damage.
  • Staples Store Breach: The world’s largest office supply chain store Staples faced massive breach where personal details including names, credited card details of its 1.16 million customers were stolen.
  • Anonymous vs. Ku Klux Klan (KKK): Anonymous leaked credit card details along with home address of racist white Christian Supremacist group KKK. The leak was done against KKK’s interference in Operation Ferguson.

Here is an amazing Infographic of the world’s biggest data breaches:
These have been the top hacking incidents for the year of 2014. Sadly enough, they are not the last cyber attacks to be launched on the web. As time passes by, hackers become more powerful and they choose their targets more wisely. However, shedding light to the threats that have been exposed can help us out, in the hope of becoming thoroughly aware of what to expect next!