With technology penetrating deeper and deeper into our daily lives, computer hacks are becoming a much more serious threat. As our world depends on computers to run pretty much everything, hackers are capable of causing devastating amounts of damage using only their computers.
With computer hacking going back to the early days of the internet, picking the top 10 hacks of ALL TIME was no easy task. However, the following are –in our opinion- the most computer hacks ever.
10. The eBay Hack
Back in 2014, eBay was hacked and the personal information of 145 million of its users was compromised. Despite the fact that no money was stolen nor damage caused to the website’s infrastructure, this is considered one of the biggest hacks ever because of the massive amount of personal information that was stolen.
Stuxnet is an operation that was carried out with the purpose of damaging Iran’s nuclear infrastructure. All evidence pointed that this was a nation-state-planned attack by an “unknown country” that is believed by most people to be the –guess what- United States.
What’s makes this attack really stand out is the fact that it was highly targeted and it caused a tremendous amount of damage to the centrifuges of Iranian reactors. Being a state-orchestrated attack also makes this hack one of the most devastating and scary cyber warfare acts ever.
8. J.P. Morgan Chase Hack
J.P. Morgan is one of the largest banks in America. Hacking a financial institution of this size is definitely hard enough. The really weird thing about this hack is what the hackers actually did after they got access.
After stealing the financial information of 75 million of J.P. Morgan’s customers, the hackers didn’t do anything else. Not a cent of the bank’s money was stolen despite the fact that the hackers had a level of access that allowed them to transfer money if they wished.
Apparently, the money that the hackers would be able to make from this personal information is worth more to them than stealing the money’s bank -which could be more dangerous.
7. The Ashley Madison Hack
The Ashley Madison data breach was one of the most devastating data breaches for a simple reason: the nature of the website. Being a website that enables extramarital affairs, the information that was on it is simply scandalous. After a hackers group that calls itself “The Impact Team” hacked the website, they demanded its immediate shutdown or they would leak all of the users’ private information.
After this information was leaked, there was a ton of blackmail, shaming and even suicide that followed, making it one of the most devastating hacks ever.
6. The 2016 FBI Hack
In November 2016, the FBI had one of the worst computer hacks in its history. After their entire data based was hacked, the identities of every undercover FBI and Homeland Security agent in the United States were released to the Dark Web. This didn’t only compromise lots of ongoing FBI operations, it also endangered the lives of many of those agents whose covers were blown.
To make the story even weirder, the person accused of this attack was a 15-year old kid from England. Apparently, in the internet age, a kid with a laptop can be more devastating than an entire armed mob.
5. Home Depot Hack
The Home Depot Hack is the largest credit card information breach EVER. Back in 2014, hackers exploited a security vulnerability in Microsoft Windows to gain access to the large vendor’s servers.
After gaining access to the servers, the hackers skimmed the credit card information of thousands of customers as they checked out.
4. Spamhaus DDOS Attack
The reason this hack is on the list is the fact that it is the largest Distributed Denial of Service attack (DDOS) ever conducted. The concept behind a DDOS attack is really simple: flooding computer systems with requests so that they crash. Hackers usually control thousands of computers –usually using malware that’s installed on them- and use them to create lots of high-frequency requests on the servers they are targeting.
While this type of attacks is pretty common, this one is the fact that it was so large that it slowed the entire internet. Using a complex signal reflecting method, the hackers were able to flood the internet with insane amounts of data that affect the internet globally.
3. The Conficker Worm
Still infecting up to one million computers a year, the Conficker Worm is definitely one of the most dangerous and ongoing hacks. This hacks starts with a worm reaching the computer, after which it opens ports that allow the breach of the infected machine by hackers.
When that happens, your computer is just wide open. Asides from using it as a “zombie computer” for carrying out all sorts of cyber-attacks, any credit card information that you enter is also jeopardized.
2. The LinkedIn Hack
There are a couple of things that make the LinkedIn hack that noteworthy: the fact that the information of a whopping 160 million people was stolen AND the fact that this kept going on for 4 entire years before someone noticed.
1. The OPM Hack
The Office of Personnel Management hack is probably the largest breach of U.S government employee information in history. After the database of the OPM was hacked, the information of every single person who has worked with the U.S Government (even consultants) was leaked. Given the fact of the sensitivity of some of this data and the fact that this hack remained ongoing for two years before it was even noticed earned it a spot on our list.
Since our computers have massive amounts of sensitive data of all kinds, getting a little tech-savvy definitely won’t hurt. Installing an antivirus and hoping for the best alone simply won’t do it anymore. Understanding things that can compromise our online information and avoid them can definitely spare us lots of trouble.