2019 is not even halfway over and there is already a flurry of cyber attacks all over the globe. Network administrators and cybersecurity experts have to always be on their toes as, no one is safe from the risk of an attack or a data breach. Here is a list of some of the top incidents which made headlines when it comes to cybersecurity:
- Facebook accidentally uploads email contacts of 1.5 million users
The world-renowned social networking giant just couldn’t catch a break. Facebook made global headlines for all the wrong reasons again in April 2019. It admitted in an announcement that it may have “unintentionally uploaded” email contacts of 1.5 million new users since May 2016. The beleaguered social networking giant stated these contacts were not shared with anyone else and were being deleted.
- Personal data of German politicians leaked online
Germany was plunged into chaos when sensitive data belonging to hundreds of German politicians, celebrities and online figures were leaked online on a Twitter account in a huge leak in the country’s history. These documents included deeply personal identifiable information including private chats, credit card details, addresses, etc. The Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel was also amongst those who found their personal information leaked. Police later arrested a 20-year-old German man who admitted to being behind the hacking, telling police that he had taken advantage of weak passwords.
- Security Lapse at Indane exposes millions of Aadhar numbers
Closer home in India, questions continue to arise over the cybersecurity preparedness of some of the country’s biggest companies. A French security researcher claimed that he discovered a security lapse which exposed millions of Aadhaar numbers of dealers and distributors associated with Indian oil company, Indane. The Aadhaar data of nearly 6.7 million were accessible and were left exposed. Indane later responded saying they did not host any Aadhaar data and hence there was no leak.
- 6 TB of data stolen from US government contractor
The fact that no organization in the world is really safe from cyber attacks became even more evident in March, when the news emerged that Iranian-backed hackers had stolen a staggering 6 TB of data from Citrix Systems, a software company that handles sensitive projects for the US government. The data stolen included extremely confidential information related to NASA, aerospace contracts, FBI information, Saudi Arabia’s oil-related information, giving an idea of the sheer scale of the attack. The most important cybersecurity lesson to be learnt from this? The hackers got access through “password spraying” – guessing weak passwords and then going inside.
- Data breach at Airbus
The aircraft manufacturing giant faced a crisis this year, when it reported that it had detected a cyber attack on its information systems which resulted in a data breach. Though it did not affect their operations, Airbus did admit that employee-related details had been lost in the breach. While they did not reveal the number of records, the fact that a breach could take place on the servers of the world’s second-largest aircraft manufacturers, reveals that even the biggest companies are still coming to terms with increasingly changing threats in the murky world of cybersecurity.