Real Life Cyber Security Breaches That Will Give You the Chills

Everyone knows that cyber attacks are on the rise. And yes, this is largely due to the higher number of computer and internet users today, compared to, say, a decade ago. Individual users usually aren’t the target of cyber attacks (corporations are). Regardless, cyber attacks are something everyone fears.

We basically live our modern lives inside the electronic devices we own. We expose our innermost thoughts with loved ones in e-mails and texts these days. We upload pictures of our private lives onto the web. And of course, Google browsing history can tell the world a lot more about a person than anyone would ever want. Now, imagine someone else having access to all that personal data. That’s a horrifying thought. Believe it or not, there are people in the world who’ve had to undergo that rather terrifying experience. So, stimulate your amygdale with the following examples of chilling cyber attacks:

Apple iCloud Hack

Possibly one of the most neck hair-raising cyber breach incidents in recent times is the Apple iCloud hack. This story was treated quite sensationally in the media because only celebrity accounts were targeted. Basically what happened was, hackers targeted a number of iCloud accounts belonging to notable Hollywood personalities and released a bunch of photos… of the naked kind. The following day, everyone was Googling ‘Jennifer Lawrence nude photos’. Apple denied a system-wide attack, and said only some accounts were targeted. That’s not really reassuring now, is it? Most people upload nude pictures online, not for the world to see, but for a select number of people in their lives. What if one of your nude pictures got online? You could lose your job, become a target of sexual violence, or the butt of jokes. That is certainly not a comforting thought.

The Ashley Madison Hack

If you don’t already know, Ashley Madison was a Canadian-based website that facilitated illicit sexual escapades for married people (mostly men). Yes, it was a site for adultery. Ashley Madison promised its clients complete privacy and anonymity for obvious reasons.  So, Ashley Madison clients were in for a shock, to put it mildly, when the site was hacked and personal and credit card information was leaked online. Chaos ensued. Obviously, being exposed online as an adulterer can ruin your life. That’s what happened to most of Ashley Madison’s exposed clients. Some were threatened with divorce, some reported being blackmailed, and at least one, a preacher, committed suicide. Regardless of what you think about adultery, you have to admit, this is possibly one of the worst hacks ever.

The Morris Worm Attack

Have you ever seen a zombie movie? Of course you have. Think about that part, usually early in the movie, when the virus spread from a single host to thousands of people, and then the apocalypse happens. The Morris worm attack of 1988 can be characterized in that way. It was developed by a university student who claimed the worm was not malicious, but was intended to understand how big cyberspace was. However, the worm malfunctioned and became a virus, thus infecting some 6,000 computers and denying services. The damages ran up to some $100 million.  The Morris Worm is, in fact, the first ever recorded DDoS attack in history. You can attribute all the devastating DDoS attacks of today to this “accident”.

Cyber attacks are scary indeed. They can range from malicious, like in the Ashley Madison hack, to a really unfortunate accident, as in the Morris Worm. There are no surefire ways to prevent cyber attacks. But you can update your antivirus software and change your passwords every once a month to minimize your risk for one.

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11 Comments on "Real Life Cyber Security Breaches That Will Give You the Chills"

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Mitchell92
Member
Mitchell92
2 years 4 months ago

Wow!

I wasn’t aware of the Morris Worm, this was really interesting.

The iCloud hack, what was that? Someone brute forcing their way in?

pwarbi
Member
2 years 4 months ago
Internet security is going to be big business in the future, even bigger than it is now and that I don’t think we can have any doubt. The increase in the amount of users as you say is going to be the main thing accountable for this, but at the same time it seems that there are more and more people out there that are trying to exploit technology and use it for the more illegitimate things, but as with everything in life, it seems that’s inevitable. When Barclay’s bank first introduced their online banking, after months, maybe even years… Read more »
nytegeek
Member
2 years 4 months ago
The thing to remember and understand is that you have not been hacked. Nobody wastes time and effort hacking individual personal computers. Your buddy that said he was hacked when that really rude or raunchy status update came from his account is lying to everyone. He just doesn’t want to admit he was drunk and posted embarrassing stuff. Hackers target servers or they target social behaviors. They don’t target you personally any more than the ship using gillnets targets an individual creature caught in it’s net. They just grab everything hoping to get fish. Hackers steal info in bulk hoping… Read more »
rz3300
Member
2 years 4 months ago

Maybe it is going to take something crazy like a bunch of these to finally get the message across to people that this is a serious issue. It always amazes me how many people go without protection and think that nothing will ever happen to them. Even if they are right I think that it is still not even economically viable these days to go about like that. Thanks for the share.
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pwarbi
Member
2 years 4 months ago

I don’t think that the issue is that people aren’t aware of the risks and dangers, I just think that they are either unaware of what they can do to protect themselves, or they simply think that they won’t be targeted. A lot of people think that cyber crime is just something that the big corporations have to deal with, and while that is usually the case when it comes to the stories we hear about in the media, there are a lot of personal users that also lose details and get their accounts breached that we don’t hear about.
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nytegeek
Member
2 years 4 months ago

The thing is, they are half way right. They wont be targeted. Large companies will be targets. What they are missing is that they do business with these large companies and that makes their personal info vulnerable.
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pwarbi
Member
2 years 4 months ago
Even though it’s a nice idea, I don’t think we will ever see a day when cyber crime will cease to exist, and there was a newspaper report in the last couple of days here in the UK that said that fraud and internet crime was actually on the rise and is now the most common sort of crime that people are exposed to. As internet security gets better, so do the minds behind the cyber crimes, so it’s always going to be a battle between the two, and if that report is correct, at the moment it looks like… Read more »
artyarson
Member
2 years 4 months ago

Thanks for the interesting article. Now I have some issues to think about. I’m using 3 programs in order to protect my PC from any kind of external threats. It seems to be enough. They are operating together at the same time, so it may slow down the whole system – the thing which I don’t really want to happen as I need a pretty fast PC.
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pwarbi
Member
2 years 4 months ago
[QUOTE=”artyarson, post: 1102, member: 7″]Thanks for the interesting article. Now I have some issues to think about. I’m using 3 programs in order to protect my PC from any kind of external threats. It seems to be enough. They are operating together at the same time, so it may slow down the whole system – the thing which I don’t really want to happen as I need a pretty fast PC.[/QUOTE] I think it’s important for you to let us know what you are using to protect your PC in the first place before anyone van help you. For example… Read more »
folkdanger
Member
2 years 4 months ago

It's pretty simple:

If you don't want a virus or have your computer compromised, then you need to be aware of the links and sites that you're at. If you don't know how to handle navigating the internet you're gonna have a bad tiiiime…

pwarbi
Member
2 years 3 months ago
[QUOTE="folkdanger, post: 1312, member: 18"]It's pretty simple: If you don't want a virus or have your computer compromised, then you need to be aware of the links and sites that you're at. If you don't know how to handle navigating the internet you're gonna have a bad tiiiime…[/QUOTE] While I do agree that we are all in charge of what sites we visit, and it's well known that some sites are more dodgy than others, sometimes even the most legitimate sites can be risky to visit and we wouldn't even know it. All the time there are these dark forces… Read more »
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