Cyber-attacks have become an ever-increasing threat to all types of companies that go digital. Signal 8 Security Services Malta Ltd. looks into some of the highest-profile organisations that have suffered cyber-attacks.
1. Sony Pictures
In November 2014, Sony Pictures fell victim to a cyber-attack that led to intellectual property and personal employee details being leaked online. It all started with hackers infecting Sony Pictures’ systems with Wiper malware. A few weeks later, the hacker group that identifies itself as Guardians Of Peace (GOP) published physical terror threats against movie theatres planning on showing Sony’s upcoming North-Korean focused comedy “The Interview”. As a result, the entertainment company pulled the film’s release, which was scheduled for Christmas day. The FBI attributed the malware attack to North Korea.
However, by early January, a large number of distributors and digital services such as Netflix had struck arrangements to show the movie.
2014 also saw the mass leak of intimate photographs of over 100 celebrities. In one of the tech industry’s racier scandals of 2014, hackers specifically targeted celebrity online accounts and made off with their intimate photos. Among the stars affected were Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton. Apple rejected initial claims that the images had been obtained via a breach of its iCloud, and it was later revealed that access was gained via targeted phishing attacks.
One click is all it takes…to launch one of the biggest data breaches ever. In 2014, cyber criminals gained access to Yahoo!’s network and the email messages and private information, containing names, phone numbers, security questions and answers, and password recovery emails – of as many as 500 million people. Information, particularly security questions and answers can help hackers break into victims’ other online accounts, such as banking accounts. And it all started off with a spear-phishing email sent to a Yahoo company employee.
It was later determined that two hackers and two Russian spies were behind the job, and it was revealed that shockingly, in a separate data breach that took place the year before (in 2013), all 3 billion user accounts were affected. However, it wasn’t until 2016, that Yahoo! noticed it had been compromised in both years, and the full scale of the situation began to become apparent. Among the hacked accounts were US government officials and Russian journalists.
In December of 2016, Yahoo! went public with details of the breach and advised users to change their passwords. This data breach was one of epic and historic proportions and has in fact been referred to by many experts as the largest such incident made public in the history of the internet at the time.
It’s fair to say 2014 wasn’t a great year for these business giants, but a rather good one for hackers.
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