Top 3 Cyber Hacks of the 21st Century

watermarkWhile digital security is not our forte, we still sustain an invested interest in the changing tide of modern domestic security. Compare your domestic life to 20 years ago; chances are if you had a computer it was likely a basic Windows or Mac with limited access to the internet (if at all). Thanks to the flourishing advancements of the digital age, we all take a very different approach to daily life. Social media, digital entertainment, shopping and business now dominate via the internet thus giving crooks a whole new avenue to explore.

The efforts of cyber crime will often make international press, often highlighting the inadequacies of corporate security. Here are our top 3 biggest security breaches of the 21st century…

  • Heartland Payment Security – 2008

This US based credit company (Fortune 1000) suffered a near catastrophic security breach in early 2008 at the hands of three expert hackers. Lead by Albert Gonzalez, the Cuban-American masterminded a breach which exposed 134 million credit cards via SQL Injection Spyware. Once the data was received it allowed the hackers to make counterfeit cards as the data included that which appears on the magnetic strip. You can rest easy for Gonzalez is now enjoying 20 years in federal prison.

  • PlayStation Network Hack – 2011

This was a real wake up call for Sony and an unfortunate pretence of what would happen again at their film division years later. PS3 owners awoke on April 20th, 2011 to find all 77 million accounts hacked including full names, passwords, addresses, purchase history and of course… 12 million credit card numbers. Luckily, PSN allowed you to use your credit card without saving the data for later access so only 12 million members had financial data stolen. Gamers rushed out in droves to cancel their cards leaving PSN offline for a month and losing millions in the process. Thankfully, PSN has been fairly stable since.

  • Epsilon – 2011

Barely a month before the aforementioned PSN hack, marketing e-mail provider Epsilon fell ill to hackers leading to the loss of millions of names and e-mail addresses across 108 retail stores. Thankfully, despite the large scale hack – credit card details were not accessed. The security implication comes from the large scale detail theft which meant hackers could invest these names and addresses into phishing scams and identity theft. Epsilon didn’t go without a financial loss of their own as they took an estimated $4 billion hit. Lock your details up tight people!

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