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Cyber attacks and digital criminals aren’t new in today’s tech-focused world. Ever since the advent of the internet and the rise of computer-based technology, we’ve been dealing with an ever-growing number of threats. As the web and the tools, we use in the business landscape continue to evolve however, these attacks are becoming more worrisome.
According to IT Governance, the number of cyber attacks taking place between 2020 and 2021 increased by 11%. What’s more, new forms of threats are emerging all the time, forcing organisations to implement new security strategies.
Today, we’re looking at some of the most notorious cyber attacks in history, and the impact they had on the companies and users involved
In 2021, experts began investigating what appears to be the biggest password leak of all time. A forum user on the web posted a huge text file containing 8.4 billion entries of passwords, combined from previous leaks and data breaches. The compilation was dubbed “RockYou2021” in reference to the previous RockYou data breach which took place in 2009.
The breach led to the development of various new tools on the web designed to help users determine if their passwords had been made vulnerable. According to researchers, the password likely contains the passwords of multiple users on various different accounts, due to its size.
Marriott Hotel Data Breach
The Marriot hotel group revealed in 2018 it had been hit by a massive database breach revealing the personally identifiable information of around 500 million guests. The issue was apparently lurking in the background of the company’s technology for a number of years, and didn’t come to light until 2018. Only two years later, another data breach exposed the data of 5.2 million guests.
The Marriott hotel chain has also been victim to other attacks since. In 2022, the chain confirmed it had been hit by another data issue in which hackers stole around 20GB of data, which included customer payment information and business documents held by the brand.
One of the most recognised cyber criminal events in the world today, the WannaCry Ransomware attack was a global event which took place in 2017. Implemented by the WannaCry Ransomware cryptoworm, this attack targeted various computers running the Microsoft Windows operating system. Users had their data encrypted, and criminals demanded Bitcoin in payment.
The event is estimated to have affected more than 200,000 computers in 150 countries. The total damages of the attack ranged anywhere from hundreds of millions to potentially billions of dollars. A new version of the WannaCry ransomware attack also appeared again in 2018.
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