The first time the word “Hacking” was used in a context that didn’t involve heavy labour, was in 1955. The MIT student organisation is the oldest known “hacking group” in existence. They figured out how to hack automatic train-sets and enhance their capabilities, and opened the door to a world of new possibilities. The first individual hacker ever known was John Draper, commonly known as “Captain Crunch”. He figured out how to mess with the frequencies that analogue phones were using to make calls back in the 70s, using nothing but the simple free whistle that came in the Cap’n Crunch cereal box. He’d scramble the signal and use the frequencies to make his own international calls for free!
In the Era of the internet, it was Robert Morris in 1989 that made history by setting off his “Denial of service” attack worm that disabled several computers for days. Even though he says that the attack was just to warn people about how vulnerable their systems might be, and was supposed to only last a few hours, a fault in the code ended up causing extensive damage to the systems he had attacked. After Morris, it was just one hacker after another. Most of them did manage to go undetected, but others were exposed. In most cases, the exposé came long after the hackers got the information they came hunting for.
These are the top 5 unbelievable cyberattacks ever
Yahoo used to be right next to Google in the 90s and early 200s. In 2013, they had the largest known privacy breach in history. 3 billion accounts were compromised and the user data was leaked. The data was mostly all the security information for user emails, this also included users from the subsidiaries Tumblr and Flickr, both of which were even more popular than Yahoo itself at the time.
2. The First American Mortgage Solutions
The First American Mortgage Solutions is a mortgage and settlement providing company. In 2019, it was found that a part of their official site was leaking millions of users data. Anyone that had ever received an email from the site was a potential victim. Even though there was no evidence of the actual data being used, the breach involved information of at least 900 million people. This information was sensitive data, it included things like social security numbers and bank account information.
In November of 2018, Marriot went public and announced that they had experienced a cyberattack. The attack was aimed at their reservation systems. The hacker had access to every reservation made, including the names, addresses, telephone numbers, bank account information and even their passport numbers. The weirdest part about this attack was that it wasn’t a touch and go attack, it had happened in 2014 and just went unnoticed for almost 5 years! The hacker managed to gain access to over 500 million people’s information and went undetected until November of 2018.
The infamous dating site, AdultFriendFinder, was hit with one of the biggest and unforgettable cyberattacks in 2016. Information of 412 million accounts was leaked onto the dark web. It had everything from general data like date of births and names, to things like their ZIP codes and even had a detailed spreadsheet of their preferences of dating partners. This was one of the only attacks in history that were this big and had something as personal as dating preferences involved. Unlike just cancelling your credit card if there’s a security breach at a bank, users’ names and information would be out there on the internet forever.
The popular fitness app, MyFitnessPal was victim to a data breach back in 2018. 150 million people who used the apps and had their data saved in the app, had their data stolen. A year later, the data was uploaded to the dark web to be sold.
MyFitnessPal only made it public that the privacy of its consumers was affected, they prompted the users that they should update their passwords but were pretty silent about the details of the attack. They didn’t specify how the hackers got into the system and also didn’t share the number of how many accounts were hacked, the number was found through outside sources and confirmed when the data made it onto the dark web.