Even when new security systems are being deployed, hackers always seem to be a step ahead. This is evident in the hundreds of cyber-attacks and data breaches that occurred this year. To make you aware of the potential risks, let’s take a look at some of the biggest hacker attacks of 2018.
Grid hacking: It has been reported that Russian hackers have been trying to infiltrate the US electrical grid system since a long time. However, the same was officially acknowledged by US government in 2018. It’s a scary scenario, as some reports even stated that Russian hackers may have acquired control of grid systems of US power companies. Even today, Russian hackers are said to be working to find weak spots in US electrical grid system.
Spearphishing emails: The United States Department of Justice (DoJ) reported that around 300 universities in US and aboard were targeted by Iranian hackers. Nine of the Iranian hackers have been indicted by DoJ. Around 31 TB of data was stolen by the hackers, which is valued at around $3 billion. The hackers used spearphishing emails to trick people into revealing their personal data.
Data exposure: Data breach is when hackers forcefully infiltrate a protected system, whereas data exposure occurs when users or administrators accidently fail to secure a database or other storage mechanism. This can occur due to an oversight or simply forgetting to follow the mandated security protocol. One major case involving data exposure occurred at Exactis, which is a marketing and data aggregation firm. Around 350 million records were exposed, which may have been accessed by hackers.
Mobile app data breach: Hackers were able to infiltrate Under Armour’s MyFitnessPal app, resulting in data breach affecting 150 million users. Hackers were able to steal email addresses, usernames and passwords. Even though birth dates and credit card details were safe, it was still considered a major data breach. It is possible that hackers may have been able to crack some of the encrypted confidential data.
VPNFilter malware: Russian hackers targeted routers on a global scale, compromising around 500,000 routers in the process. A malware named VPNFilter was used to carry out the attack. The malware takes control of the router and utilizes all compromised routers to create a massive botnet. This can subsequently be used to carry out other types of cyber-attacks such as stealing data, spam campaigns, and network manipulations. Various popular routers were found to be infected such as D-Link, Netgear, Huawei, TP-Link, ASUS and Linksys.
There’s danger lurking at every step, so make sure you follow security guidelines when using internet. Always have anti-virus software installed and updated and do not click on unknown links or emails.