Gallery: The 10 biggest business hacks of 2016
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Business hacks are expensive but preventable
Hacks are costly for small business, massive enterprise corporations, and government agencies. According to ZDNet in 2016 nearly 3,000 hacks resulted in the public disclosure of 2.2 billion sensitive records. Nearly all of these records were or are still available to purchase on the Dark Web and hacker forums like 0day.today (link requires Tor).
Because they lack the resources of enterprise corporations, small businesses are particularly vulnerable. Data recovery firm Carbonite claims that hacks cost business $82,200 to $256,000 per incident. “Small business owners are becoming an increasingly critical part to our economy and it’s crucial that their security is taken into account as much as larger organizations,” said Carbonite’s chief evangelist Norman Guadagno in a recent interview with TechRepublic.
SEE: How risk analytics can help your organization plug security holes (Tech Pro Research)
Enterprise companies and government organizations face vulnerabilities from “external and internal threats, viruses and ransomware, and foreign cyberattacks,” Guadagno said. Breaches can cost millions in material and brand damages and expose massive piles of sensitive records. The high stakes of a potential hack, Guadagno said, should be a reminder that cybersecurity must be “a big priority for [business] owners.”
One of the best ways to protect your own business is to learn about previous attacks, Guadagno advised. Use the arrows on the images above to toggle through a list of 2016’s biggest business and government hacks.
- Interview with a hacker: S1ege from Ghost Squad Hackers (TechRepublic)
- Poll: What new cybersecurity trends will dominate 2017? (TechRepublic)
- Five essential cybersecurity audiobooks (TechRepublic)
- Five essential cybersecurity podcasts for IT professionals (TechRepublic)
- 2017 cybercrime trends: Expect a fresh wave of ransomware and IoT hacks (TechRepublic)
- Cyberwar: The smart person’s guide (TechRepublic)
- How to safely access and navigate the Dark Web (TechRepublic)
- IT Security in the Snowden Era (ZDNet)
- How the Dark Web works (ZDNet)
- Cybersecurity sleuths learn to think like hackers (CNET)
- Inside look at the race to outsmart hackers (CBS News)
One theme dominated cybersecurity trends in 2016: Change your password. 2016’s biggest corporate hack was the revelation that a 2014 Yahoo hack–allegedly perpetrated by the group known as Pease–exposed the private information of more than half a billion accounts.
The DNC, DNCC, and Clinton Foundation
Embarrassing email and other data from the Democratic National Committee, the Clinton Foundation, and other accounts related to presidential candidate Hillary Clinton were hacked in early 2016. Data trickled out through the summer via the Guccifer 2.0 website and Wikileaks, and resulted in key staff changes within the Democratic establishment.
On Friday, October 21, 2016, the internet went dark. A massive DDoS attack targeted at DNS provider Dyn prevented millions of users in major economic hubs like New York, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and Boston from accessing major websites, including Twitter, Amazon, and Netflix.
Bitcoin has the potential to change global finance. For now, however, the world’s most widely used crytopcurrency remains a magnet for criminals. In August exchange platform Bitfinex stopped trading following the news that hackers stole 119,756 Bitcoins valued at $65 million from hosted wallets. Though the exchange is back online, the hack helped undermine confidence in Bitcoin and unregulated markets.
The US government develops and stockpiles cyber-munitions–weaponized, malicious code that spies on and sabotages target systems. In August, a group known as The Shadow Brokers stole and auctioned what the group claimed were hacking tools created by the Equation Group, the NSA’s hacking arm.
Adult Friend Finder
Sensitive information, including usernames, passwords, and last visit records for nearly 400 million accounts, as well as 15 million “deleted” accounts still in the database, were swiped from the Adult Friend Finder network in November. Ahem…change your password.
At the fast-food restaurant Wendy’s you can get a get an “old fashioned hamburger.” If you bought that burger with a credit card, your data might have been stolen. In July the company announced that malware had likely infected computers in 1,025 of its 5,144 franchise stores. Delicious!
Read more TechRepublic cybersecurity stories.