Cyber-attacks seem to be the talk of the era, dominating media discussions and government policies as of late. They are a huge threat to any nation and its economy and data security.
The growing trend and leaning towards hacktivism and cyberwar has turned digital space into a vulnerable ground. Cyber resilience is the need of the hour against the large scale cyber terrorism.
We have created a list of the major cyberattacks of the past and how they created a dent in the digital history, let’s have a look:
1). Moonlight Maze ,1998
Moonlight Maze is one of the first known cyberwars in United States. It reported that thousands of sensitive unclassified documents relating to technologies with military applications were stolen. It was a coordinated attack of an unmatched reach. The victims ranged the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Brazil and Germany.
2) MafiaBoy, 2000
Michael Calce a.k.a. MafiaBoy, was the mastermind behind the loss. The MafiaBoy had an intension of discharging an attack on the well-known commercial websites e.g. Amazon, Yahoo, CNN and eBay. He led to a loss of $1.2 billion dollar. The accused was kept in the open court for 8 months, i.e. his movements were made limited. His Internet usage was also restricted.
3) 4Chan, 2003
It was an English-language image board website used for posting pictures of the Japanese manga and anime, 4chan was initiated in 2003 by a 15-year-old student from New York named Christopher Poole. Their prey includes Hal Turner, who was targeted by prank calling from December 2006. Same year, Yahoo! account of Sarah Palin, who was contesting as a Republican vice-presidential candidate in US was hacked by a 4chan user.
4) Estonian Cyberwar, 2007
Estonia was exposed to cyber terrorism on April 27, 2007 by a pro-Kremlin group from Transnistria. Their methods were highly complex that it led the Estonian government to believe they might have connection with the Russian government. The reason for these attacks was an icon of importance to the Russians, Soviet-era war grave marker that were moved to another place by the Estonian government.
5) Project Chanology, 2008
Internet agitators who are called ‘Anonymous’ had attacked the Church of Scientology by overflowing its servers with tampered pirated data requests, the attacks are described as retribution for the Church’s wrong approach towards copyright laws and negative influencing of its members.
6) Operation Aurora ,2009
This Operation consists number of cyber-attacks conducted by Elderwood group of Beijing, China along with the association of People’s Liberation Army. The main reason for the attack was to get access to source code repositories at high tech, security companies. The attacks were controlled when the command servers were shut down, however there are various speculation of its reoccurrence.
7) Stuxnet 2010
Stuxnet Virus was created to attack a nuclear power plant in Iran. It was effective in the Windows Computer and was spread through USB sticks. It didn’t harm the normal working of the system or networks, rather it reached straight to the designated target file and stole the information and misguided the working commands and functions.
8) India, 2012
In the month of July, around 10,000 Indian Government and Military emails were hacked. It is considered as one of the biggest cyber-attacks in India. The alert regarding the attack was already issued a few days before, but it is only the negligence and carelessness of the concerned institutions that the attack could create such a major impact. The source of the attack is still unknown.
9) Flame, 2012
It is a malware discovered in 2012 and was made to attack computer systems in Middle Eastern countries that use Microsoft Windows. The main purpose was espionage. It attacked private individuals, educational organizations and even government Institutions.
10) Sony Pictures Hack, 2014
Confidential data from Sony film studio was released by a hack group called Guardians of Peace. Allegations point the source of attack to be North Korea, as there was a long dispute over a movie release by Sony group, the movie’s plot was in relation to the assassination of a North Korean Leader.
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