Halloween is a time for ghosts, ghouls, and other frightening things. But ask any cybersecurity professional if they’re more scared of hockey masks and chainsaws or hackers and malware, and most will take their chances with the slashers. Truly, few things are more terrifying than when data security is compromised.
Customer information, reputation, credibility, the outlook for the future — all of those things come into question when hackers and attackers infiltrate. It’s the thing of nightmares and, unfortunately, it happens more often than you think.
In fact, some estimates place the total at 109 million accounts that were breached in the third quarter of 2022 alone. That’s a 70% jump over the previous quarter. Yikes! And while no breach is minor, sometimes the magnitude of the breach, who it affects, and the costs and outcomes are especially jaw-dropping.
So to finish out Cybersecurity Awareness Month, let’s look at a few especially terrifying hacker horror stories that are sure to spook you!
Hackers Breach the Red Cross
It’s bad enough when hackers target businesses, but something about going after the charitable organizations that help people seems especially egregious. That happened in January of this year when hackers attacked servers operated by the Red Cross, which contained data about Restoring Family Links services, which works to reconnect people separated by war, migration, and violence. The personal information of a half million people was exposed.
Disgruntled Employee Goes After Cash App
It’s one thing when hacks and attacks come from the outside – those are to be expected. But when a person within an organization betrays their position to compromise security? That type of inside job is hard to protect against. Cash App found out the hard way in April this year when a former employee breached data containing customer names, stock information, account numbers, and portfolio information, along with a lot of other sensitive financial information. Eight million customers had to be notified about the occurrence!
Russia’s Warfare Has Cyber Element
Few things are more horrific than war. And the conflict that’s on everyone’s mind is what’s going on in Ukraine. The violence on the ground is bad enough, but Russian hackers have also taken to launching cyber attacks against the power grid in Ukraine, nuclear facilities, and a lot more.
Personal Health Information Leaked
Australia has had an especially difficult 2022 when it comes to cyber attacks, and many organizations have found themselves in compromising situations. Among the worst was when the personal health information of almost a quarter million people was leaked. In this case, not only were clients put at risk, but the company itself, Australian Clinical Labs Ltd., saw its share price fall as a result.
Hackers Hit the Bar
Having a glass of wine (in moderation) is a commonly practiced way to temporarily forget about problems like data breaches and security leaks. Well, not for customers of iDealwine. The online wine merchant just recently reported that they’d been the victim of a data breach that has potentially exposed the information of every single one of their customers.
Former Uber Exec Covered Up Data Breach
Imagine facing nearly a decade in federal prison for a hack you didn’t even commit. That’s what happened when former Uber Chief Security Officer Joseph Sullivan was found guilty in federal court of not disclosing a 2016 breach of customer and driver records to regulators and attempting to cover up the incident. He is looking at a possible maximum of five years in prison for the obstruction charge, and a maximum of three years for the other charge. It doesn’t get much worse than that.
PreEmptive Protects Applications From Hackers
Maintaining data security in today’s world requires a comprehensive approach and constant vigilance. No single habit does it all, nor is sometimes often enough. Whether it’s simply regularly changing your passwords and practicing good password hygiene, or implementing a full-fledged, enterprise-level security program.
When it comes to helping software developers create secure products, PreEmptive is a trusted global leader of protection tools for Desktop, Mobile, Cloud, and Internet of Things (IoT) applications. We help organizations make their applications more resistant and resilient to hacking and tampering so that protecting intellectual property, sensitive data, and revenue is achievable.
Want to learn more about our products and if they’re right for you? Contact us for a complimentary security consultation.