Cyber security breaches; a short survey on the recent attacks

cyber security breaches

Cyber breaches are attacks executed by cybercriminals using one or more system to assault a single target, network or a series of devices. A cyber-attack has the capability to disable a system, steal personal data or even infect a system to launch further attacks. The common techniques used by the cyber criminals include phishing, ransomware, water hole attacks, denial of service attack etc.

A cyber hack may even destroy the data by sneaking into the target’s device. The initial step of a cyber-attack includes planting a malware in the target’s device, can be a virus or a ransomware. Cyber-attacks even have the capability to destroy the infrastructure of the entire nation.

Day by day cyber crimes and cyber criminals are being more dangerous and refined.

Let’s take a look on the recent cyber-attacks:

  • Capitol one breach

On July 2019, one of the established online banking system ‘Capitol one’ faced a cyber-attack which exposed around hundreds of thousands of credit card applications including personally identifying information’s like social security numbers, birth dates and other personal data. Even when the hackers neglected to steal the account details, the scale of the disaster remained high.

As a compensation, Capitol one offered credit monitoring to those who were affected.

On the basis of investigation, the attack was carried out by an American named Paige Thompson. In fact, the stolen data was never found in Dark Web. Thompson was a former employee at Amazon which gave her the background to exploit the data in Capitol One’s server.

While going through her past days, she worked as a freelance white hat hacker and she was so secretive of what her work actually was. She was caught red handed when she posted a list of Capitol one directories on her Github page.

  • The weather channel ransome

For about a decade, the viewers for the weather channels have declined drastically. Youngsters do not show interest to this type of broadcast. But for some people it is a lifeline. It was during April 2019, a stretch of tornado striked the coast of South America.

Many people were tuning in to know the whereabouts of the calamity.

But all of a sudden on one Thursday morning the live broadcast refrained for about 90 minutes. This was one of the first incidents in the history of broadcast television.

The attack was a ransomware attack which caused the whole station to halt for more than an hour. Since there has been no confirmation about the attack trajectory, it was assumed to be a phishing attack.

This attack is an example that there is no boundary for a cybercriminal that he could extend his boundaries beyond computers and internet.

The weather channel didn’t hand out any bit coin to the attacker, rather they had a good backup of the stolen servers and this helped them to go on air within 2 hours.

  • Wannacry attack

Wannacry was a kind of ransomware that spread vigorously in May 2017. Like any other ransomware, they too had the same characteristics – steal data and demand ransome in return.

Wannacry virus found its roots deep down in United Kingdom’s NHS.

Once a wannacry virus exposed the vulnerability in the Windows software using a secret code developed by the United States National Security agency called “Eternal Blue”

The execution attack was carried out by a group called “Shadow Brokers”

Microsoft was aware of this vulnerability few weeks before the attacks but the lag in the update made it easier for the attackers to perform the attack.

  • Notpetya

Petye was also a type of ransomware that spread during 2016 via phishing emails. The main agenda of this malware was to encrypt the master boot record of infected machines making it difficult for the users to access the files.

Slowly by 2017, the malware mutated to form a more dangerous version and it spread rapidly. The new form was known as “Notpetya”. This propagated via compromised Ukrainian software. This malware was believed to be originated from Russia which was used against Ukraine as a form of weaponized malware.


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