Top 10 Most Devastating Computer HacksHacking sucks. At least, for the victim. These hacks on the list have caused devastating ends, from some hacks causing millions of dollars to damage and all the way up to identity theft. Hi I'm Pnut, and today I'll be telling you the Top 10 Devastating Computer Hacks.
Before you probably search into this list, I wanna tell you about this website here. It can help detect if you have malware or not. The real hero in this though is a friend of mine who told me about this. He found this website and wanted to help spread the world. So thank him for computer lives ;)
On the day of March 26, 1999, a 30 year old man by the name of David L. Smith, unleashed what I think we can all call a "monster". Named after a stripper... yes we are going that route, that he met in Florida, the Melissa Virus would act like an intelligent virus, and would spread to other computers by a word document or an email. It would start by corrupting Microsoft Outlook, and it would send itself to 50 people in the user's contact list, and once it was opened, it would send itself again, and the cycle would repeat. In the end, it was estimated that 80 million dollars were done in damage, and would cause companies like Microsoft to shut down their connections temporarily. David would eventually plead guilty and be sent to 10 years in prison, but only served 20 months.
Spamhaus is considered to be one of the most devastating hacks in the entire history of the internet and is also considered by many security firms and programmers to be the largest distributed denial of service attack in the history of hacking. Starting in March of 2013, Spamhaus, a Geneva and Switzerland based website that was suppose to prevent spam, would be attacked by hackers and would use nearly 100,000 servers. Massive sections of Europe would lose connectivity and speed when this happened and even worse, the attack would happen for days. There are also sources that claimed that the hack was carried out by CyberBunker, which was a hosting company in the Netherlands, with intentions of shutting done Spamhaus simply because they didn't like them.
It would make sense to see why an adult would hack something, but what if I told you that in this hack, it was a 15 year old? Mmm hmm. Now it's real. Jonathan James was a 15 year old teenager who hacked into the DoD (Department of Defense), and in July of 1999, would access over 3,000 messages that were between the DTRA employees there. He would also compromise the systems of what controlled the physical environment on the International Space Station. This would cause NASA's computers to shut down for around 3 weeks, and it dost 41,000 dollars to get rid of James code and fix the systems. After being released, James was getting nervous about other cyber crimes being blamed onto him, so he committed suicide in May of 2008.
Sony was a Japanese company who was known for making games, and also for making movies. In 2014 though, they were ready to release a new film titled The Interview. But on November 24 of the same year, Sony Pictures would become the victim of what some people say is one of the worst hacks of all time. What happened was that a well-planned hack caused multiple computers to be infected with malware and would release around 100 terabytes of data. It would include things such as how much the people were paid and employee information. To this day, no one has been caught. It is kind of sad to see a film fail at the box office because it's actually really funny.
The only one I'm familiar with on this list. I remember this was a big deal at the time. It resulted in getting a movie banned which eventually found it's way out. I wouldn't say the movie is in anyway memorable because of it's story but more less the controversy itself overtime.
On a side note a month later a hack I vividly remember that had known by the name of a group called Lizard Squad that wrecked havoc that whole year ruining the fun of gaming for both Microsoft and Sony. Needless to say this was a dark year to enjoy gaming in year 2 on PlayStation 4 with the 8th gen off to a slow start with this.
People say that North Korea was behind that attack.
Alright, I guess another 15 year old hacked as well. What has this become? The boy named Michael Calce was a cyber genius who hacked and shut down some of the most popular websites. Between an 8 day span of February of 2000, he would launch several distributed denial of service attacks, and would shut down popular websites like Amazon, CNN, Dell, and eBay. He even managed to take down Yahoo at one point. Calce called this operation "Project Rivolta" and he also considered it to be too easy. What's even funnier is that he sat down to watch Goodfellas one day, only to have the police knocking on the door. He would eventually be sentenced so that was quite the way to go out.
Heartland was known as a credit card process company based in New Jersey. But big news came for them when on November 20, 2009, it was announced that their network have been hacked. It was claimed by them that the cyber attack happened on multiple occasions, between the day after Christmas of 2007 and the day it would be announced. According to the US government, an estimated amount of over 130 million credit cards were hacked and compromised and Heartland would also claim that they lost 2.6 million dollars. The group that lead this hack was a group of german hackers along with a 28 year old named Albert Gonzalez. And don't worry, they have been caught.
The conficker worm was first discovered in early November of 2008, what it did was targeting the operating system of Windows, and would do this by exploiting vulnerabilities in the code and would link it to other systems so it could create a large net controlled by the creators of the "worm". It would go on to infect millions of computers all around the world and places included the French Navy computer network and also 100 of German Armed Forces system. To this day, no arrests have been made, and they even held a 250K dollar bounty for whoever caught the hacker, but that has not been claimed yet. Fun Fact: Conficker is actually a combination of a german curse word and the normal word configure.
Back in the late 80s, the internet wasn't really known back then. But on November 2, 1988, a Cornell University graduate student by the name of Robert Tappan Morris made a digital worm virus that could break into any computer on the web. It would report back that it would exist which would map out a large network. Being launched from a computer at MIT, the virus would end up self-replicating, and would infect thousands of systems. Even though it was designed as non damaging, it would cause the computer to serverley slow down. According to sources, the attack caused a total of 10 million dollars.
This was a hacker that not only scammed a company big time, but also helped people steal identities of over 13,000 people. In March of 2012, a global company Experian would buy a company called Court Ventures to help with their specializing in credit and marketing services. But a Vietnam man named Hieu Minh Ngo used his skills to pose as an investor to the security of Court Ventures. Thanks to this, he would be given to access millions of people's personal information, and would manage to make nearly 2 million dollars by doing this. Despite being arrested in 2013 and sentenced to 13 years in 2015, the damage was already done.
At this point, a lot of people have heard of the hacking group Anonymous. Well, this was actually one of their first attempts of cyber assault. It started on January 16, 2008, when it took on the Church of Scientology and would try to save people from this religion by "reversing the brainwashing". The group would launch a DDOS attack on the website Scientology.org and it would actually cause it to be taken offline for a little bit. 5 days after, they would release a video to the public, declaring their intent and accused the church for trying to censor a video of Tom Cruise.
"Ooops, your files have been encrypted!"
It devastated the world.
Another virus said to be originated in North Korea.