The global COVID-19 pandemic did not just bring modern-day society to its knees, but it also shook the world’s cyberspace to its core. The large scale migration to online platforms gave cybercriminals a much bigger playground to work with than ever before. With an ever-increasing user-base on the internet, malicious threat actors had access to much larger attack surfaces, with newer vulnerabilities just begging to be exploited.
Some of the industry’s biggest names and companies were unable to repel the countless attacks of organized cybercrime, let alone the average, everyday internet user. No-one was spared from these hacking operations, as even the mega-corporations, with millions invested into their cybersecurity infrastructure, fell before the new waves of cybercrime.
The following list highlights some of the most shocking cyberattacks of 2020.
Multiple high-profile Twitter handles were breached in July 2020. These included accounts of Apple, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Barack Obama, and Uber. The hacker then launched a phishing attack by posting tweets from the victims’ accounts.
The hackers scammed followers into sending hundreds of thousands of dollars in bitcoin by promising a return transfer of double the original amount. Soon after collecting almost $120,000 in bitcoin, the suspected cybercriminal behind this whole ordeal was arrested.
In July of 2020, a WastedLocker ransomware attack was launched on Garmin’s production internal networks, as well as its call centers. Garmin, the smartwatch manufacturer, had most of its services shut down, thanks to the breach.
3. Easy Jet
The email addresses and travel information of around 9 million of EasyJet’s customers were leaked following the launch of a “highly sophisticated” ransomware attack. During this entire operation, 2208 customer accounts had even lost their credit card details. The attack was traced back to a group of Chinese hackers targeting airlines before this instance.
4. SolarWinds Supply Chain
The SolarWinds Orion product is widely popular software employed by several government agencies and global enterprises. Once the whole supply chain system was attacked out of nowhere, panic ensued. Multiple big private firms such as Nvidia, Microsoft, FireEye, and several government agencies all had their operations ceased due to this hiccup.
5. Marriott International
One of the largest hotel chains in the world, Marriott International, announced in March 2020 that 5.2 million guests at their hotels had their private information breached. Personal details, partnerships, affiliation records, room preferences, and contact information were some of the compromised key data areas.
6. Software AG
Software AG is one of the biggest software companies in Germany. When the news of Software AG being at the receiving end of a largescale ransomware attack became public, it came as an alarming shock to many in the industry. According to the ZDNet website, the cybercriminals responsible for this attack demanded $20 million as ransom as they took all the company’s data hostage.