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2017: A Continued Review of the Biggest Cyber Security Disasters


An Exploration into the Year’s Most Significant Data Breaches

The public’s confidence in data security reached its lowest point in 2017. As cyber attacks, including phishing scams and ransomware continued to evolve, vulnerabilities of several major organizations were exposed, making the past year amongst the worst in terms of the volume of those affected by a security breach.

In our previous blog post, we examined 5 of the biggest data breaches that occurred in the past year. These cases included cyber attacks carried out on Equifax and Deloitte, as well as, taking a closer look at the leaks perpetrated by WannaCry, NotPetya, and the Shadow Brokers. Continue reading below to learn about 5 more of the biggest breaches of 2017.

5 More Big Security Breaches of 2017

As the past year has demonstrated, no organization is immune to becoming a victim of cyber criminals. No matter how secure you believe your company is, you should always take extra precautions when it comes to online security. Here are 5 more high profile breaches that made waves in 2017: 

  • HBO – In May, 1.5 terabytes of data containing unreleased episodes and scripts for the popular HBO series “Game of Thrones” were stolen and released. After an indictment, it was revealed that the data was held for $6 million worth of Bitcoin and leaked when the network refused to pay the ransom. Fortunately, the breach did not have a significant impact on viewership as the season finale clocked in at 16.5 million viewers.

  • Gmail – Unfortunately for Gmail users, a sophisticated phishing scam was carried out in an attempt to hack personal accounts through a third-party app. Computers were infected when users were prompted to open a Google Doc that appeared to be sent from a familiar contact. While Google halted the scam within an hour of its exposure, it is still estimated that 1 million users were affected.

  • Verizon – In late June, it was reported that 14 million Verizon customers may have been impacted by a security breach. Unfortunately, it took more than a week for the company to secure the stolen data. Personal information was generated and ultimately breached when customers directly contacted the company over the phone.

  • Yahoo! – While the Yahoo! data breach made headlines well before 2017, new information came to light in October about the actual impact of the 2013 breach. Initially, it was reported that 1 billion accounts were compromised; however, more recent reports indicate that every single customer account was affected. That means, information from 3 billion Yahoo! accounts was stolen. To this day, the identity of who was behind this scam remains unknown.

  • Bad Rabbit – News and media websites were the target of a major ransomware campaign called Bad Rabbit. The virus infected systems by posing as an Adobe Flash installer and when downloaded, encrypted files and scanned user networks in an attempt to steal information to hack other computers. The ransomware caused the most damage in Russia but experts also say that many cases were reported in the Ukraine, Turkey, and Germany.

Practice Online Safety in the New Year with a MSSP 

The cases we have outlined are only a fraction of the cyber attacks that made headlines in 2017. However, they are all examples of how important online safety is and additionally, they provide lessons on how you can improve your own cyber security. At GlassHouse Systems our IT security specialists will help you manage your infrastructure and provide effective solutions that will work for your company.

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