In the following article, you will see the top 10 largest cyberattacks in the world and how they have impacted companies.
With so many cases of cybersecurity threats on the rise, it is now evident that information systems are not as safe as you thought. Hackers are actively searching for vulnerabilities so they can launch attacks on the systems and gain an advantage on them.
But before digging into it, let’s find out what types of cyberattacks an organization can encounter:
Types of CyberAttacks
Cyber hack refers to hackers’ deliberate effort to access online information systems to steal sensitive data or private information and cause disruptions. Cyber-attacks include access attacks, denial of service (DDoS), cyber espionage, and cyber-terrorism.
Many types of cyber attacks are successful because intruders have sophisticated tools at their disposal that facilitate their unethical hacking activities.
Some of these tools include malware, spyware, and Botnet.
Malware attacks are the most common types of cyberattacks.
Successful attacks are usually costly to mitigate. According to a Cybersecurity Ventures report, Cybercrime will cost the world $10.5 trillion annually by 2025.
This is precisely why organizations need effective cybersecurity protocols to protect sensitive data from unauthorized access. Even so, considering cyber hackers’ sophisticated nature and skills, we are not likely to see the problem go away anytime soon.
In 2016, hackers attacked one of the largest banks in Bangladesh and made away with over $80 million, although their initial target was $ 1 billion. They would have been successful were it not for a minor typo that sold them out.
If you think the attack on Bangladesh Bank was daring, check out our top 10 of the world’s largest cyber attacks!
You will be amazed at cyber hackers’ great lengths to attack systems. Read on!
Top 10 Largest Cyber Attacks in the World
Many attacks have taken place recently, as indicated on the cyber threat map, but the following are the top 10 significant cyber-attacks worldwide.
10. South Korea Credit Cards Data Compromise
In 2014, cybersecurity companies discovered that credit card data and bank account information of over 20 million South Koreans had been hacked, and the hackers sold their private information to marketing firms.
Interestingly, this attack is that breach was not done by remote hackers but by an employee of the Korea Credit Bureau that had access to South Korean credit card firms’ databases.
That’s not all; the theft did not involve using sophisticated tools as we see in Hollywood movies. Man only had to copy the data to a USB drive, just like how Snowden stole his cache of NSA secrets.
This attack compromised millions of South Koreans’ banking information and exposed malicious insiders as a threat to data security.
9. MafiaBoy DDoS Attack on Amazon, eBay, CNN
Who would have ever thought a teenage boy could bring down high-profile commercial sites like Amazon and Yahoo?
Well, that exactly happened in 2000 when a 15-year-old Michael Calce, also known as MafiaBoy, launched a DDoS attack on Amazon, eBay, CNN, and Yahoo.
It is estimated that the disruption cost $1.7 billion in damages. Cyber-attacks are not limited to old computer nerds; even high school students with advanced computer skills can paralyze big companies and cause substantial financial losses.
According to HeraldSun, Michael Calce has now stepped on the other side of the fence and is now in HP’s cybersecurity team.
8. Curch of Scientology Attacked
Speaking of teenagers, in 2008, a group of hackers led by a 19-year-old crippled the Church of Scientology with a DDoS attack. The culprit was Dmitriy Guzner, sentenced to 2 years of probation and ordered to compensate the Church of Scientology with $37,500.
7. Yahoo! Data Breach
Even emails are not so secure these days. In March 2014, Yahoo! attacked cybercriminals who gained access to 3 billion user accounts! This is the most significant data breach in the history of worldwide cyber-attacks.
6. Ashley Madison Data Breach
If your emails can be hacked, what about your profile on a dating site? If you consider cheating on your spouse, thinking you won’t be found out, think again!
In July 2015, a cyber network of hackers attacked Ashley Madison, whose business involved providing a platform for married people to indulge in extramarital affairs. Over 25GB of its user details data was leaked on the web.
The hackers demanded a complete shutdown of the company’s ‘unethical’ business before leaking the data online. This event is one of the most significant data breaches of private consumer information in history.
5. Sony PlayStation Network DDOS Attack
Sony’s PlayStation Network became a DDoS attack victim, putting the network offline for approximately three weeks. Hackers took advantage of vulnerabilities in the system and managed to harvest private information. This information included Credit Card data of more than 77 million users.
Consequently, the Mega Corporation lost a staggering £171 million after reimbursing customers and implementing anti-fraud protection.
4. Bangladesh Bank Cyber Heist
In February 2016, cybercriminals hacked the SWIFT network and issued 35 fraudulent instructions to withdraw close to $ 1 billion from the Bangladesh Banks’ Federal Reserve Bank (New York) account.
Five went through of the 35 SWIFT instructions, transferring $101 million. The remaining instructions were blocked owing to a minor typo. The hackers used malware to gain access to the system.
3. WannaCry Ransomware Attack
You’ve probably heard of the notorious Ransomware that encrypts your data until you pay the hackers a fee in Bitcoin, have you? WannaCry was a ransomware attack that emerged in 2017, with attackers demanding $300 in Bitcoin.
Failure to pay the amount in 3 days, the penalty doubled to $600. The encrypted files are deleted if you fail to make the payment within seven days. The WannaCry ransomware attack has caused damages worth more than $4 billion.
2. NetSky and Sasser Worms
Sven Jaschan released two worms in 2005 that devastated computers through a DDoS attack for the better part of that year. About 25% of all virus reports in that year were caused by Jaschan’s worms that caused a DDoS attack on the system.
Jaschan’s viruses have caused more than 20 billion dollars in damages.
1. Anonymous attacks on Russia after Ukraine invasion
Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a Twitter post from an account named “Anonymous” has declared that it is a cyberwar against Russia and the regime of its president, Vladimir Putin. They target more than 1,500 Russian websites. U.S. officials confirmed they had seen evidence of the Anonymous hacks.
In the days after that, posts by the account claimed responsibility for disabling websites belonging to the Russian oil giant Gazprom, the state-controlled Russian news agency RT, and numerous Russian and Belarusian government agencies, including the Kremlin’s official site.
Anonymous has targeted other high-profile entities in the past, including the governments of the United States and China, the Church of Scientology, and the Islamic State group, while expressing support for uprisings such as the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street.
On March 5, CyberSecurity Mag announced that Anonymous had taken down the website of Russia’s Secret Service – FSB.
So there you have them. Once again, these are the top cybersecurity attacks in the world till March 2022:
- South Korea Credit Cards Data Compromise
- MafiaBoy DDoS Attack on Amazon, eBay, CNN
- Curch of Scientology Attacked
- Yahoo! Data Breach
- Ashley Madison Data Breach
- Sony PlayStation Network DDOS Attack
- Bangladesh Bank Cyber Heist
- WannaCry Ransomware Attack
- NetSky and Sasser Worms
- Anonymous attacks on Russia after Ukraine invasion
Therefore, organizations must implement tight cybersecurity to protect sensitive data from falling into the wrong hands. Even if you own a small website or blog, you should protect it because it can become an attack vector to other companies or organizations. To do that, you should contact a WordPress maintenance agency and ask for a plan that covers website security.
Businesses such as mobile casinos, betting platforms, commercial sites, etc., requiring credit card information to process customer payments are at a high risk of cyberattacks.
Prevention and protection is the best policy. Therefore you must do business with companies that enforce a strong level of security.
You may also be interested in reading about the ten most significant data breaches to date.