Cyber-crime, with sophisticated methods, has become a multi billion dollar industry. Cyber-crime has evolved to data breaches and online identity theft using highly technical methods such as network eavesdropping. The definition of most expensive attack or which one is most damaging varies according to the criteria you choose. Some attacks on government agencies may be difficult to represent in monitory terms, but their impact on the security of the country is huge. Let’s have a look at some of the most outrageous attacks in the history of cyber attacks.
- The Logic Bomb attack:This one is considered as one of the most devastating cyber attacks in the history. It was so huge that it is not possible to put a dollar value on this. This one actually seems to be straight out of some movie. As the story goes, during the cold war in 1982, America (CIA) found out that Russia (KGB) was stealing technology from America for years. America decided to embed a logic bomb in a piece of code and fed it to Russians. The code was used to control the pipeline that transported natural gas from Siberia. When the logic bomb got activated the Siberian gas pipeline exploded. The explosion was so powerful that it could be seen through space and was estimated to have one fifth of the power of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima at three kilotons. It is a great example of how huge a devastation cyber-attack can cause in real world.
- Epsilon Data Breach: Epsilon is one of the world’s largest email marketing service provider. It handles more than 40 billion emails and more than 2200 brands globally. The hackers stole an undefined number of details (such as emails and other data) pertaining to more than 50 of their clients. The affected clients include some of the top banks and retail giants with a massive amount of data related to their own clientele. All these people were then the target of phishing attacks. Epsilon faced years of repercussions and more than 225 million USD in cost. The total cost of the breach was projected to be over 4 Billion USD.
- The Veteran Administration Breach: In 2006, the Veteran’s Affair administration had given permission to an analyst to copy its data onto his laptop and allowed him to work from home. The data contained millions of social security numbers, their ratings and other personal information, and was not encrypted. The laptop was stolen. It was later discovered that data of about 26.5 million veterans, active military personals and their family members was stolen. The impact of the theft was estimated to be between 100 million to 500 million dollars.
- Hannaford Bros.: Hannaford is a supermarket chain with its stores located mainly on the east coast of the United States of America. A security breach exposed more than 4 million credit card numbers and led to 1800 cases of fraud. The breach affected more than 200 stores and was on for about 3 months before it was discovered. The total of the breach was estimated to be over 250 million Dollars.
- Sony Play Station: In 2011, hackers broke into Sony’s data storage and had access to over 100 million records of customers who used PlayStation online service. The data included personal details and credit card information of the users. The total cost to Sony for this breach was over 171 million USD.
Most cyber attacks leverage some inherent weaknesses of the system. One hole in the firewall is all that is needed for a hacker to intrude into organization’s network and have free access to data. The organizations on their part are many times oblivious to the fact that the security software, the operating systems, the antivirus and the firewalls all have weaknesses. Once past these security doors, the intruder, be it human or inorganic (a malware, a logic bomb or any piece of code) have free access to data unless data is further protected. If the data is protected and controlled to decide who can access it, how is it to be accessed and from where, the level of protection is much higher, even if the intruder is inside your system.
Seqrite’s data loss prevention (DLP) solution ensures that only the right person can have access to the data from the right location and right device at the right time. DLP not only protects static data but also data in motion. Seqrite Endpoint Security ensures that intruder even if they get inside secure network cannot do anything with secured data.