While it cannot be denied that technology is certainly a beautiful thing, it also comes with its flaws. It is possible to penetrate even the most secure barriers that companies and organisations have put into place. There is almost always a hacker who is capable of hijacking the system and ruining the whole thing for everybody.
Recently, LinkedIn experienced a huge security breached when 6.5 million passwords were published online by Russian hackers.
Here is a list of the biggest security breaches in history:
1. Sony PlayStation Network
In April 2011, 77 million people experienced the rage of hackers when their PlayStation Network accounts were hacked into. The online gaming and movie service was greatly compromised as credit card numbers, names, passwords, and purchase history were released. Eventually, Sony Online Entertainment and Sony Pictures were also penetrated. It seems that someone has a bone to pick with the tech giant.
Epsilon is one of the largest email marketers in the world. Some of its clients include BestBuy, Walgreens, and Capital One. Over 60 million were affected by the security breach. Epsilon is in charge of sending promotional mass emails to customers of numerous companies and organisations. In March of last year, a massive cyber attack was launched on Epsilon. Millions were tricked into supplying sensitive information about their finances and passwords.
3. RSA Security
40 million people were affected when the servers of RSA were compromised. Valuable and sensitive information was stolen from employees in an attempt to gain access to corporate and government networks. Around 80 percent of banks utilise RSA services. Since the cyber attack, RSA has spent almost $70 million to keep a closer watch over the information of their clients.
4. Gawker Media
If you have ever caught yourself acting just a wee bit arrogant, you better check yourself before you follow in the footsteps of Gawker Media. Victims of hackers in December 2010, 1.3 million users were affected as their usernames, emails and passwords were released to the public. The reason for the breach: “We went after Gawker because of their outright arrogance.”
AOL made one of the stupidest mistakes a company could ever make. In 2006, they accidentally released a document containing sensitive and private information of a little over half a million of its members. The information includes social security numbers, addresses, etc. The company admitted that they had screwed and apologised profusely for the mess-up.
Hackers used a different method in hacking Monster.com. They posed as the website and emailed clients asking for their credentials and then proceeded to steal names, email addresses, phone numbers, and home addresses. The hacking was eventually traced to servers located in Ukraine.
As you can see, even some of the biggest names in the online world have found themselves to be the prey of many hackers that are just waiting to pounce. Some have specific purposes and reasons in mind for doing what they do, while others simply have nothing better to do with their time. It is a way to show-off their skills.
This is why it is very important to be careful with the information that you share online. Never email sensitive information such as your credit card number, social security number, and the like. Even social media networks are not safe. The best thing to do is to dictate it over the phone or find some other way to share it. Never give your password out to anybody and especially not to anybody who asks for it via email. Stay safe and stay wise.