Top 10 Horrible Cyber-Attacks in History


  • Technology has undoubtedly opened new avenues in the digital arena and advancements in technology have made our lives easier. But technology has also brought about disorder owing to cyber-attacks that have wreaked havoc in the business world. We have opportunities on the one hand and threats on the other, all thanks to technology. On the one hand, technology has empowered businesses and has helped them grow. On the other hand, technological advancements have made hackers more powerful thus resulting in heinous cyber-crimes. Cybercrime is the second most reported crime in 2016.
  • If you have the responsibility of heading an online business, we request you to read this blog post till the end to be acquainted with the most horrible cyber-attacks in the history of cybercrimes.
  •  In this post, we will be covering the top 10 horrible cyber-attacks in history.


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List of the 10 Most Horrible Cyber-attacks in History

Here is the list that will make you aware of the most horrible cyber-attacks in history:

1) Data Breach at Yahoo

The data breach at Yahoo is the most horrible cyber-attack in the history of cybercrimes whereby 3 billion accounts were stolen through two data breaches. Personal information such as email ids, phone numbers, and passwords of 3 billion users were exposed by the hackers. Yahoo is still trying to figure out how the data breach occurred.

2) The Logic Bomb

The logic bomb is surely one of the most horrible cyber-attacks in history as it shook everyone, quite literally. In this cyber-attack, American hackers planted a code to control the flow of natural gas from Siberia in 1982 when the cold war was going on. After the code was activated, it caused one of the strongest explosions, which could even be viewed from space.

3) WannaCry – a Ransomware

In the middle of 2017, the ransomware, WannaCry attacked the UK whereby all files were locked on MS Windows-powered systems when users clicked suspicious on email attachments and the files could be unlocked only through a ransom. Systems across the US, UK, Russia, and China were infected by WannaCry. The attack was one of the most horrible cyber-attacks in history as it infected 300,000 computers in over 150 countries.

4) Sony Pictures

In 2011, Sony’s online data storehouse was hacked which exposed records of over 100 million customers through the online services of their PlayStation. Hackers not only had access to their personal information but also their credit card information. Sony Pictures lost over 171 million USD due to the data breach.

5) Epsilon

The next name on our list of the most horrible cyber-attacks in history is the one that happened at Epsilon, the leading email marketing service provider. They handle more than 40 billion emails and have 2,200 global brands as their clients. Hackers did not spare Epsilon either and stole data of more than 50 of Epsilon’s clients. The data of top banks and retail giants were also compromised through the cyber-attack. Epsilon lost over 4 billion USD through the cyber-attack that was carried out through a phishing email.

6) Citibank

In 1995, Citibank became the victim of one of the most horrible cyber-attacks in history when Vladimir Levin, a criminal ringleader, hacked the banking system and illegally transferred money to the tune of 3.7 million USD. He used some customer codes and passwords and carried out the cybercrime using a computer located in London. London airport was the place where he was nabbed by the FBI.

7) Hannaford Bros.

Hannaford Bros., an American supermarket chain was the victim of one of the most horrible cyber-attacks in history whereby over 4 million credit card numbers were exposed and the number of fraud cases sky-rocketed to 1800 cases in 2008. 200 of Hannaford Bros.’ stores were affected by the security breach and Hannaford Bros. lost more than 250 million USD.

8) Petya

Among the networks affected by Petya, mention must be made of the US pharmaceutical company Merck, Danish shipping company Maersk, and Russian oil giant Rosneft. Through the attack, cybercriminals syphoned off huge amounts of money, carried out an illegal bitcoin exchange, and laundered money across as many as 75 shell companies. Many other accounts were also affected.

9) Linkedin

Russian cybercriminals carried out one of the top 10 horrible cyber-attacks in history by stealing passwords of around 6.5 million accounts on the professional networking site, Linkedin. They exposed the passwords on a password forum. 100 million more user ids and passwords were exposed in the forum as per a 2016 discovery.

10) JP and Morgan Chase & Co.

This is the next name as far as the top 10 horrible cyber-attacks in history are concerned. In 2015, hackers stole personal and business-related data of 76 million households and 7 million small businesses, having links with JP and Morgan Chase & Co., and sold the same. What did they do with the stolen information? They tweaked the stock prices of the company and earned profits illegally. 

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How to save your businesses from heinous cybercrimes?

To save your businesses from cyber-attacks, you need to be clear about the nature of cybercrimes. No, it is not an IT issue and should not be left to the IT team for cyber security management. Cyber security management should involve managers from various departments who should work together to find a resolution to the data breach. Heaven forbid but if a data breach occurs in your organization, take help from digital forensic experts who are pros at investigating cases of cybercrimes and data breaches. Not only this, but they also help in making security management systems stronger.

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