What is a cyber-attack?
A cyber-attack is an attempt by hackers to damage or destroy a computer network or system. It is a deliberate exploitation of computer systems, technology-dependent enterprises and networks. Cyberattacks use malicious code to alter computer code, logic or data, resulting in disruptive consequences that can compromise data and lead to cybercrimes, such as information and identity theft.
There are many forms of a cyber-attack and ransomware is just one of them. Cyber-attacks usually occur when hackers create a malicious code known as malware and distribute it through spam email campaigns or phishing campaigns.
Cyber-attacks might be divided into two broad types:
– attacks where the goal is to disable the target computer or knock it offline, or
– attacks where the goal is to get access to the target computer’s data and perhaps gain admin privileges on it
Victims of cyber -attacks can be random or targeted, depending on cyber criminals’ intentions.
Biggest cybercrimes in history
Cybercrime is on the up and today it’s more prevalent than ever. As cybercrime becomes more of an issue many organizations seek to protect themselves using courses to train employees in the very real risks of the online world. Check out some of the biggest cyber attacks in the last 5 years.
Target Breach in 2013
In 2013 personal data from 70 million Target customers got stolen before Christmas. Personal data included customers’ names and their credit cards and debit cards information. After this, Target experienced a decrease in their sales.
Yahoo Breach in 2013
One of the largest data thefts occurred in 2013 when personal information such as names, phone numbers, passwords and email addresses from one billion users got stolen. Then in 2014, another 500 million accounts were compromised. The Yahoo hacking scandal is without a doubt one of the largest security breaches of the modern day.
Sony Pictures virus attack in 2014
Sony Pictures Entertainment got hit with a virus in 2014 by hackers allegedly connected with North Korea. They stole employee e-mails, information on executive salaries and copies of unreleased movies. There was a widespread speculation that the group was trying to disrupt release of the film, The Interview, a comedy depicting a plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
JP Morgan breach in 2014
Hackers hijacked one of JPMorgan Chase’s servers and stole data about millions of the bank’s accounts and thought to have made hundred million dollars in illegal profits.
Along with personal data, the hacking group also stole information related to company performance and news, which allowed them to manipulate stock prices and make enormous financial gain.
NHS virus attack in 2017
Ransomware named “WannaCry” was delivered via email in the form of an attachment and caused chaos among the UK’s medical system.
Once a user clicked on the attachment, the virus was spread through their computer, locking up all their files and demanding money before they could be accessed again.
This became one of the most widespread cyber attacks ever leaving the NHS system disabled for weeks.