Cyber security Attacks 2021-22

by: Admin

Technology

Hello everyone from around the world wide web!

Internet penetration in the population has increased multifold. With total penetration being at 5 % in 2000 to 29% in 2010 and finally, to 58.4% in 2019, this just shows how our lives are intertwined with this wonderful internet.

With the two years gone by from the mini covid era, we have witnessed many things but the two things which have greater significance is that the digital revolution is here to triumph and better aversion from cyber-attacks is an urgent need!

Yes, you heard it right. We are 238 attacks from breaking the record all-time high this year. It is also equally alarming to know that these cyber threats are becoming more and more systematic. There were companies affected, their revenue hindered and the clients and their customers like you and me got impacted.

What is a cyber-attack then?

A cyber-attack is an offensive attack by which the attacker attempts to access data, function, or any restricted system without authorization likely with malicious intent.

Types of Cyber- Attacks

Following are the top 10 cyber-attacks from around the world.

The sudden spike in the work from the home culture which has added the negligence of the worker has added more such cases around the world. These attacks have not spared anyone regardless of the status one company garners. We talk about some of the top cyber security threats that were faced by the companies. It includes names of big shots like the NBA (yes you heard it right! National Basketball Association), Acer, Cognizant, Twitter and many more. Let us dive in and have a closer look and understand.

Cognizant:

The data from Cognizant was stolen and was put up a ransom of 25 million dollars. This was late April 2020 when the company shares went tumbling down. They were threatened by the attackers that if this demand was not adhered to, they would publish the client’s critical and business secrets in public open-source forums. They were left with no choice but to pay them in full. The payment was made in bitcoins!

University of California, San Francisco

This was the 1st June of 2020 when a gang of netwalker criminals attacked the University of California San Francisco. Yes, it was the same time when high-profile research was undergoing to fight the COVID-19 virus. The research was in full swing and the development was in progress. IT staff went ahead to unplug the computers to stop the malware from spreading. The negotiations from the authorities went ahead with extortion of $1.14 million by the attackers.

Twitter attack

It was the 17th of July 2020 when the mammoth microblogging site was not spared from this cyber-attack menace. Top followed peoples, to name a few Kim Kardashian, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Donald Trump, Barak Obama 130 accounts in total were hacked.

The data breach happened to compromise their private Chats and photos as well which were placed on Twitter. There was a phishing attack initiated as well where people were lured to get bitcoin instead of the money they send. There was less impact through these phishing attacks. However, bitcoin touched the sky and twitter fell on the floor so did their reputation. An official statement then came which said this was a socially engineered attack and they are working on fixing it.

Nintendo

The gaming giant Nintendo reported a mass account hijacking of over 160,000 users in April 2020. This was leveraged by the company’s NNID (Nintendo Network ID) legacy login system.

This gave hackers access to payment services linked to the accounts, including PayPal accounts and credit cards. Nintendo responded by shutting all of its NNID logins and asking the owners to lock down their accounts. With the screen keyboards in place is to be blamed for Weak passwords created and this led to the vulnerabilities. Nintendo now has switched to two-step verifications.

Colonial Pipeline

April 2021 was the time when the major national critical infrastructure went dysfunctional. The system went down disrupting the gas supplies along the East Coast of the US, causing panic and chaos all over. This was covered widely in the news prime time. 

Most of the Americans were directly impacted by gasoline shortages. The DarkSide gang was behind this attack which targeted the billing system & internal business network which led to widespread shortages. To avoid worsening the situation further Colonial Pipeline paid up $4.4 million in bitcoin. Thankfully this was later tracked down and recovered much of it. In later investigations, it was found that the cybersecurity measures were not at par with the standards, which later was upgraded.

Brenntag

A chemical distribution company was attacked by the same group of hackers as colonial pipe, the Darkside. Now, it was 150 GB worth of data was stolen. With an attacker demanding $7.5 million worth of bitcoin, this turned ugly. Brenntag ended up paying $4.4 million. Although this was just more than half of the original ransom demanded, it still stands on the list of one of the highest ransom payments in history.

Acer

In May this year, the computer manufacturer Acer was attacked by Russian hackers REvil group. $50 million was the ransom which stood to the highest till date. Hackers exploited a vulnerability in a Microsoft exchange server to get access to the files and they leaked the spreadsheets and important financial documents.

JBS Foods

It was Spring of 2021 when everyone was hoping for the pandemic to end soon as possible but the increasing trend of cyber-attacks showed no sign of stopping. This time the cyber threat was to JBS Foods, the biggest meat processing company in the world. This did not impact the panic buying of the meat or any reported shortages. JBS consulted the Cybersecurity experts and paid up $11 million ransom.

National Basketball Association (NBA)

A wide range of industries was affected by cyber threats across the globe. The sports industry was not spared as well. The cyberattack on the NBA surprised everyone. With staggering 500 GB of confidential data concerning the Houston Rockets were stolen by a hacker group named Babuk. It warned that confidential documents, including the financial information and contracts, would be made public. However, no ransom was known to be made until now.

AXA

European company May changed their policy in May, which essentially stated it would stop reimbursing many of its clients for ransomware payments. The attack took place soon after these changes were announced. This unique and ironic cyber-attack on the cyber-insurance made headlines. The group gained access to 3TB massive data.

Work from home scenarios has added to the risk of data manipulation. When one works remotely there is the chance when things might have some ‘half-measures’.

Having all these Cyber threats and cyber-attacks there were several measures taken by the corporation. With multi-factor authentication in places at several ends, it averts the threats. The older legacy systems are tightening their securities as well. Many companies are focusing on cybersecurity awareness and training their folks to prevent cyber threats and phishing in particular.

Regular backup of the data and password-protected offline copies, ensuring that copies of critical data are not accessible for modification or deletion from the system where the data resides. And last, but not least if we can avoid accessing the sensitive data over public wifi can save you and your corporation from threats. These are very few things that will surely be a walk in the direction of a more secure future for everyone.

With all these, we are sure of one thing, neither will be these attacks stop anytime soon nor will the demand for talents in these fields of Cyber security. We look ahead to a promising future for those seeking to make a career out of this.

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