It’s a fresh 2018, a new year, with new hopes, expectations and resolutions. Let’s hope they also extend to a safer browsing experience, fewer cyber-attacks and an increased level of security for all the Internet surfers out there.
Looking back on what 2017 meant, ‘hacking’ wise, we can conclude based on estimates and research that there were twice as many cyber-attacks than in 2016. That shows how vulnerable our personal information is to hackers and how important it is to take all possible measures in order to protect our identities whenever we are online.
Here are some of the biggest hacks brought to light in 2017:
The Equifax attack. As you probably know, Equifax is one of the 3 major credit bureaus in the US. The cyber-attack of 2017 led to more than 145 million of people in their database having their personal information stolen. Equifax only spoke about the severity of the breach after a few months from the attack and blamed it on one of their employees who was rapidly fired after the incident.
The Yahoo hack. This one didn’t actually took place in 2017, but in 2013, when 3 billion Yahoo accounts were hacked, but the company only found out about the attack in 2016 and only made it public in august 2017. Yahoo still doesn’t have a clue how it all happened and who exactly is to blame.
The WannaCry ransomware. It was one of the biggest attacks of 2017 and it affected around 150 countries worldwide. The virus spread out rapidly hitting various targets such as universities, FedEx, car companies and more. Over 300,000 computers were infected.
The Uber attack. This one also took place in 2016 but was covered up by the company who agreed to pay the hackers $100,000. The hackers managed to steal the personal data of 57 million customers. The Uber CEO only made the hack public in November 2017.
The NotPetya malware. NotPetya was a virus that started infecting businesses from Ukraine, through corrupt tax software. The malware spread rapidly among businesses from all across the world. Companies such as WPP (British advertising agency), Maersk, FedEx were also affected. FedEx lost $300 million due to the NotPetya virus.
Predictions for 2018 are not that encouraging when it comes to cyber-attacks. Experts state that the Internet of Things will receive more similar hits this year and all industries are at risk, especially those that manufacture smart devices and machines (airplanes, cars, smart medical equipment, industrial robots, etc.)
While this may look like an apocalyptic scenario, all hope is not lost. Legislation is constantly adapting and improving in order to reduce data breaches and people are becoming more wary with every cyber-attack acting like a wakeup call.