2015 has seen the issue of cyber-attacks hitting the headlines more than ever, but what exactly have been the costliest hacks in history?
1982 – Cold War Logic Bomb
Due to the murkiness of Cold War espionage this incident is tricky to verify whether it was real or not. Apparently the CIA managed to blow up a Soviet gas pipeline in Siberia without using any form of conventional weapons. Instead, the CIA is said to have inserted a logic bomb into the computer system that was in charge of controlling the gas pipeline. When the logic bomb was triggered, the resulting explosion was apparently the ‘most monumental non-nuclear explosion ever’. Since the pipeline travelled through a remote area in Siberia, no casualties were reported. This attack is considered to be one of the costliest hacks in history due to being one of the first events that made the world aware of the potential of cyber-attacks.
2004 – Titan Rain
In the year 2004 several US and military networks including NASA and Lockheed Martin had been hacked. The FBI called the daring attack, Titan-Rain. Through investigations, Chinese backed hacker cells were fingered as the culprits. It is thought that military intelligence, classified data and weapons research was stolen. Due to the scale of the attack and the information stolen the cost of is impossible to quantify and we may not have seen the full consequences.
2007 - TJX.
Using an insecure WiFi network in one of the company’s TJ Maxx stores, hackers were able to breach the company's systems and stole the credit card details of 45 million people. Experts however believe that the real number was nearer 94 million. The attack is considered to be one of the most expensive hacks in history.
2011 – Sony Network Hack
Anyone who received a PlayStation 3 for Christmas in 2011 was left very frustrated as they were unable to get online to play. At the time it was not yet known that the hack that caused the disruption was the worst hack of a gaming community in history as well as one of the costliest. 77 million PlayStation Network accounts were hacked and 12 million credit card details stolen.
2013 – Target
In November 2013 the Target Corporation announced that it had been hacked. Around 40 million credit and debit card details were stolen. The size of the hack makes it the second largest theft of card details in history.
2014 – Sony Pictures
Sony was hacked again in 2014 but this time it was Sony Pictures. North Korea was linked to the unprecedented hack, which drove the studio to cancel release of the movie The Interview. The hack saw the theft of tonnes of sensitive data, but in the long run the impact was somewhat countered as Sony ended up releasing The Interview anyway at a later date.
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