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The ten most famous hacker attacks in history

August 7, 2014

A group of Russian hackers made the largest hacker attack in history. The reason was, they have stolen more than four billion accounts. The protected information connects with 500 million email addresses. Hackers went into databases of 420 thousand sites and FTP-servers. 

The ten most famous hacker attacks in history
The ten most famous hacker attacks in history

Mitnick and the Pentagon, 1983

In this paragraph, we will tell about young Kevin Mitnick. Mitnick entered the global network, the predecessor of the Internet, and reached the servers of the US Department of Defense through a computer at Los Angeles University. The young cybercriminal was quickly found, and in the end, he spent six months in a correctional center for youth. In the mid-nineties, the hacker was accused of a number of episodes of causing $80 million in damage and was sent to prison for several years.

Levin and Citibank, 1994

This robbery was the first in the chain of confrontation between Russian hackers and Citibank. In the mid-1990s, a St. Petersburg resident penetrated the internal network of an American bank. It was made by hacking an analog modem connection and managed to transfer $10.7 million to accounts in the United States, Finland, Germany, Israel, and the Netherlands. Almost all transfers were blocked (about $400 thousand were not found). The hacker was arrested in March 1995 in London.

James and NASA, 1999

Fifteen-year-old Jonathan James was the first to break open the US National Space Agency system. Meanwhile, he managed to gain access by cracking the password of a server belonging to another government agency. After that, James stole several important files from NASA, including the source code of the International Space Station. Then, NASA estimated the damage at $1.7 million. As a result, due to his young age, James was able to avoid jail. In conclusion, James shot himself. 

Chelyabinsk’s hackers and PayPal, 2000

Vasily Gorshkov, 26, and his 20-year-old friend Alexei Ivanov, were arrested by the FBI in November 2000 in Seattle. Illegal penetration into the corporate computer networks of PayPal, Western Union, and the American bank Nara Bank. The attackers stole 16,000 credit card numbers from home computers in Chelyabinsk, causing $25 million in damage. To lure the criminals into their territory, the FBI organized a special company. As a result, this caused a small international scandal.

Windows source code, 2004

On February 12, 2004, Microsoft announced about the hacking of the source code of the Windows 2000 operating system. 600 million bytes of data, 31,000 files, and 13.5 million lines of code. The information leak also affected Windows NT4. At first, the corporation said that the stolen code is through its partner company Mainsoft. The stolen data leaked online. In conclusion, neither the company nor the FBI was able to find the attackers, which caused the IT giant serious reputational losses.

Valdir Paulo de Almeida, 2005

The team of the Internet’s most famous spammer, Valdir Paulo de Almeida, was sending out three million phishing emails a day at the time of his arrest by the Brazilian authorities. According to various estimates, he was able to steal up to $37 million from bank cards. Not only ordinary people but also several foreign foundations suffered from the actions of the scammers.

Alberto Gonzalez, 2009

Alberto Gonzalez launched attacks on the Heartland Payment System in 2009, resulting in the theft of tens of millions of credit card details. The same year, Gonzalez was caught and confirmed to have broken the networks of several major retailers, including TJX Cos, Bj’S Wholesale Club, and Barnes & Noble. To resell the data, the hacker organized the ShadowCrew group. Then, during the process, he entered into a deal with the investigation and admitted his guilt. 

Stuxnet and Iran’s nuclear program, 2010

The Stuxnet computer worm successfully attacked and partially disabled Iran’s nuclear system. According to Iranian data, the virus blocked the work of a fifth of the Iranian centrifuges, while copying the video surveillance recording and scrolling it during the operation so that the security service would not suspect anything. Kaspersky Lab experts saw it as a “prototype of a cyber weapon, the creation of which will entail a new arms race.”

Anonymous, USA, Israel and Russia,
2012–2014

In January 2012, the MegaUpload site closed. In protest, Anonymous launched the largest LOIC DDoS attack in history. For several hours, the websites of the FBI, the White House, the Department of Justice, the recording holding Universal Music Group, the American Recording Industry Association, the American Film Association, and the American Copyright Office were out of action. In April 2013, Anonymous attacked over 100,000 Israeli websites. The hackers themselves estimated the total damage from the attack at $3 billion. The action was a response to the “Cloud Pillar” operation, which took place in November 2012.

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