The 10 great hacks in history

The 10 great hacks in history

This week the news broke of a massive hack on the social network Twitter that would have compromised the accounts of important personalities such as Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos or Barack Obama .

An unprecedented hack that joins a long list of quite notorious cases that have affected numerous entities and public figures in recent years. Leaks of user account data and theft of personal data have reported record numbers year after year since we inaugurated the 21st century.

The data is shocking, with hundreds of millions of stolen data. And it is that, unfortunately, both the legislation in force in several countries, as well as the measures adopted by large companies have always acted inefficiently and always after these cyber attacks .

As a reminder, today we bring you a selection of the 10 largest computer attacks in history. Interestingly, the vast majority occurred in the last decade. Let's go there!


Twitter (2020)

We open this list with the most recent case of massive hacks. Specifically, that of several official Twitter accounts of important people and companies. Those affected include names like Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Barack Obama and Joe Biden , or the official accounts of Apple and Uber.

After accessing them, the hackers proceeded to publish several tweets impersonating the victims and offering to return double bitcoins to those users who entered a certain amount of cryptocurrencies to an address agreed upon by the criminals.

The most curious thing about this attack is that it has been able to circumvent two-step authentication . And yes, it smells of scam everywhere, but there are always those who bite into these types of traps. After all, that a company like Apple says that it gives you money for your face, it will have seemed to more than one that it makes all the sense in the world.


Facebook (2019)

Let's go back to April of last year. Researchers from the cybersecurity company UpGuard discovered that a huge amount of data on users of the social network Facebook was exposed to the public from the Amazon database by the Mexican news company Cultura Colectiva. They had managed to store data for up to 540 million users on Amazon's servers in a way that allowed anyone to download it to them.

It was one of the many data breaches Facebook has been embroiled in . The information that Cultura Colectiva had in its possession contained the description of user interests and interactions with other accounts.

Posted by Cultura Colectiva on Wednesday, April 3, 2019

For their part, from the Mexican website they limited themselves to launching a statement from their social networks indicating that the exposed data did not include sensitive or confidential information .


Ashley Madison (2015)

The Ashley Madison case is loaded with high doses of irony . Imagine that an extramarital dating website exposes the personal data of its clients in view of everyone on the network of networks. Of course, nobody would want their name to be related to a website of this nature.

Well, that was the nightmare suffered by the 37 million adulterers who had the misfortune to register in the famous a la carte infidelity service. Hackers threatened to post nude photos and other sensitive customer information unless they shut down the website.

Of course, the infidels did not make it too difficult for cybercriminals, since among the 3 most repeated passwords on the site were the mythical '123456', '12345', and 'pasword' . We never seem to learn.

Celebgate (2014)

This case was perhaps the most notorious on this list, both due to the profile of the victims and the nature of the crime itself. The case dubbed 'Celebgate', was a scandalous theft of private material of several celebrities that was exposed on the board of images of the trolls forum par excellence 4chan.

The material that was published was mostly belonging to famous women who were naked . These photos were later viralized on other portals such as Reddit or Tumblr.

According to subsequent investigations, the hacker responsible for this theft wanted to make a fortune with this material by selling it to the highest bidder on the internet. But when he encountered certain complications to obtain money in exchange for them, he decided to make them public on these portals.

Among some of those affected were famous actresses such as Jennifer Lawrence, Kaley Cuoco or Kirsten Dunst .


Ebay (2014)

The famous e-commerce service eBay was also the victim of a cyberattack in 2014, in which a substantial amount of information was stolen from both employees and customers of the platform. It was never clear how many people were affected, but the company warned  145 million of its users  to change their account login details , just in case.

Still, few hesitate to classify this massive attack on the Ebay database as one of the biggest data thefts ever , based on the estimated number of accounts.

Cybercriminals took all kinds of information , from passwords, email addresses, dates of birth, email addresses and other personal data. Of course, financial data such as credit card numbers, were safe.

Sony Pictures (2014)

Another case that many will remember is the great cyberattack suffered by Sony's film division. Considered the largest made to an American company in its entire history .

This breach of security exposed a lot of business secrets of the company , among others, that the actresses Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams were paid less than their male colleagues to appear in the movie “American Hustle”, or that the character of Spider- Man may be used by Marvel Studios under certain conditions.

The international gaze, and especially the United States, was directed at that time towards North Korea, after having issued several threats with the premiere of the film The Interview, which satirized the figure of Kim Jong Un.

However, these suspicions were never resolved, and there are indications that even pointed to several former employees of the company .


Yahoo (2013)

The case of Yahoo, which occurred in 2013, was especially serious since its 3 billion accounts (all of which it had at the time) were stolen . A gigantic security breach that exposed the popular telecommunications company.

The massive data hacking allowed attackers to gain access to real names, usernames, emails, conversations, phone numbers, dates of birth, passwords and even digital signatures.

In its subsequent statements, the company blamed the attack on a group of hackers hired by state agencies, although without mentioning any country in particular. Although this type of veiled accusations always usually refer to Russian or Chinese attackers .


Linkedin (2012)

Another of the large social networks hacked and with the access data of its users exposed to the highest bidder in a Russian forum . Not one is spared.

It was the first big data theft that Linkedin suffered, and it affected more than 6.5 million users at that time. For its part, the company was quick to force all these users to change their login details immediately.

The truth is that in the case of Linkedin, the matter is quite delicate if we take into account that it is a social network focused on the professional world. The misuse that third parties, with not very good intentions, could make with these profiles, could wreak havoc on users and damage their professional career .


Dropbox (2012)

In 2012, several Dropbox users began to receive massive spam in their mailboxes. Surprised, many of these users began to wonder what had happened, at which point Dropbox recognized that a cybercriminal had managed to access the profile of a Dropbox employee and steal a list of all these email addresses .

Immediately they began to send recommendations to the entire community to update their passwords both in Dropbox and in other services, if they were the same. After all, using the same access data on several platforms is a fairly common practice, and therefore it is always advisable to use different access codes .

But it was not until 4 years later, in 2016, that the company revealed that the total number of affected accounts amounted to 68 million users .


MySpace (2008/2016)

MySpace, the first great social network in the world that had its moment of glory between 2005 and 2008, but like many others, ended up condemned to oblivion due to the unstoppable rise of Facebook.

In 2016, a massive hack of 360 million accounts was discovered , although it is stipulated that the attack actually occurred in 2008 during the course of the subsequent investigation. The truth is that, despite the fact that the company reinforced security measures in 2013, it was too late.

Still, MySpace had the terrible reputation of being very easy to hack (there are even tutorials on the internet that teach you how). No password is needed to access an account , just have the email, a nickname and the date of birth of the user. If you still have yours, post to delete it completely insane.

So far our list with the 10 most notorious hacks in history . As we can see, the amount of data stolen, as well as the number of cases of breaches and hacks, is constantly increasing in a hellish escalation. A dynamic in which it seems that cybercriminals always go one step beyond the cybersecurity standards of these large corporations.