Global Hacks of 2017 so far…
2016 seemed to be the year of celebrity losses, with many beloved celebs unfortunately passing away.
2017 seems to be the year of global cyber hacks, or at least has seen many more companies coming forward about previous attacks.
The new General Data Protection Regulation changes will mean that this is no longer down to them to release this information. We’re therefore likely to see an increase in data breach headlines in the months following 25th May 2018.
We did a little bit of research on the cyber-attacks of 2017 and here’s what we found:
January saw at least 47 major cyber-attacks reported. We say at least as a number of cyber-attacks revealed later in the year were carried out at an earlier date, and it’s likely there were many more that we’re yet to hear of.
- Lloyds Bank had an issue with online banking being down due to hackers
- Princeton University along with thousands of other entities had their databases wiped and held at ransom
- Trump’s Cabinet – Dozens of Donald Trump’s cabinet and associates had their passwords leaked in the run up to Trump’s election.
- Clash of Clans – The mobile app fantasy game revealed over 1 million forum users had been hacked with their personal information potentially compromised.
This attack was an example of a company that withheld the release of information since the attack happening. The Clash of Clans data breach happened back in December 2016 and wasn’t made public until 2017.
February saw at least 51 major cyber hacks and data breaches across the globe.
- NHS Website – ISIS took claim for hacking into NHS websites and replacing images with graphic and brutal content from the civil war in Syria.
- Arby’s – The American food chain had a potential 335,000 of its customers payment card details compromised.
This was yet another late release as the attack happened back in January 2017 but was released a month later.
- David Beckham’s Advisory Team – The former England football start apparently wasn’t targeted personally, but a whopping £1 million was demanded from his advisors as part of an online hack. Not long after his conversation involving his missed chance at knighthood was leaked – not a great year for Becks.
- Yahoo – The internet search engine and email providing giant reported they’d had multiple cookie related data breaches in both 2013 and Dec 2016 in which hackers had accessed user’s emails without the need for a password. This was only reported in 2017.
We continued to see an increase in the severity of cyber-attacks as March of this year saw 44 major cyber hacks, with 74,643,434 records being compromised globally.
- McDonald’s India – we all got excited over the prospect of McDelivery and the trials were running rather smoothly over in India. That is until the app leaked around 2.2 million users’ data including name, number, email and home address.
- Mountain Home’s Water Department (Idaho) – The data breaches on the Water Department of Mountain Home happened back on the 6th February but wasn’t reported and released until March. The city had to reset systems, wipe and restart just to escape the ransomware’s demands.
- Devon Doctor’s Surgery – A doctor’s surgery located in Devon has a leak of patient emails that they subsequently apologised for.
A minimum of 44 major cyber-hacks were reported and released to the public in April of this year.
- Google & Facebook – The internet giants suffered a massive ransomware attack back in March of 2017 in which a total of $1 million was demanded. The hacker is thought to have been found and prosecuted. Whilst the story was released originally in March, the two internet sensations were not named until April.
- McDonald’s Canada – more than 95,000 applicants to McDonald’s chains across Canada had their information stolen during a hack back in April 2017. Any applicant between March 2014 and March 2017 had their personal information compromised.
- McAfee – ironically the anti-virus provider McAfee fell subject to a hack that was thought to originate on the LinkedIn account. Their social media sites were compromised and the hacker posted several posts under the anti-viruses name – mainly focusing on the irony behind their triumph.
With 45 documented hacks in this month and an estimate of 61,341,797 records compromised, things aren’t looking much better as we near the current month of June…
- NHS – We all remember the global WannaCry outbreak in May that left out NHS in chaos. However we were just 1 in 74 countries across the globe affected by this outbreak. The WannaCry virus targeted vulnerable and old Microsoft operating systems missing sufficient and up to date patches. It revealed our NHS still runs on Windows XP!
(If you’re sitting there thinking “well I’m on XP” please contact us ASAP, as that is not good)
- Full House Lottery – The Canadian lottery company that fuels the countries school as other services was hacked… twice. With anyone purchasing a ticket before February 22nd and between the 23rd Feb and 2nd May finding their details have potentially been compromised.
- Florida – The Department of Agriculture and Consumer services became compromised and resulted in 16,000 gun licence owners’ details being released.
- New Delhi – A hack on a school in New Delhi, India resulted in 1.5 million students between the years 2009 and 2017 being seized and held as a ransom with individuals able to pay for their data to be returned.
And we’re finally up to date. Above were just the most well-known names or biggest hacks that have been reported this year, but the reality is there have been many, many more. The number is ever increasing and the ability to find those responsible is heading in the opposite direction.
With so many places to hide and masks to cover them, hackers and finding it easier than ever before to hold personal and business machines at ransom.
This week alone has shown yet another global scale attack, with the worst hit countries being Ukraine, Russia and Poland. However countries such as Italy, France, Germany, Spain, the US and UK have also witnessed certain companies falling victim to the Petya virus.
Airports are at a standstill, banks are refusing to give out money at ATMs, online banking has been suspended and several companies are halted in their operations all across the globe.
There’s a clear trend of increases over more recent years. Whilst there are cases of 2014 being the highest rate and 2016 being the lowest (October) the general trend shows the vice versa picture.
The sad truth that cyber-crime and cyber-attacks are on the rise and without proper protection and up to date patches your business or personal devices could fall subject to one of them.
It seems like such a simple thought – “That won’t happen to me”, but the majority of companies, both large and small, hit by cyber-attacks are not specifically targeted.
These are merely businesses or personal computers that are vulnerable in some way. This could be a lack of anti-virus or an old operating system that lacks current security patches.
It could be an employee opening a masked email or the clicking of a malicious link.
There are so many ways for hackers to find a way in, and the reason we have listed the largest names we can find is to show that no one, no matter how powerful, is exempt from these attacks.
It takes one hacker to take down a whole system. And there are thousands, even millions around the globe, just waiting to find a way in.
Don’t be that person, don’t join that statistic.
If you have any concerns for your business or personal computer systems’ security or know you’re lacking some essential updates, contact the team ASAP.