Most tragic Cyber Attacks of 2020


FireEye data breach- One of the biggest cyber attacks that came into light was the one that was revealed at the end of 2020 i.e. December 2020 where an official conformation from Cybersecurity firm FireEye was made stating that it is has become a victim of cyber attack where hackers stole its network penetration tools that are used to test the security framework of computer networks.

Initially, everyone thought that it was just a data breach at one company. But a detailed probe launched by FBI revealed that Russia hackers installed a backdoor malware in the Orion software sold by SolarWinds that led to the leak of classified information in several federal agencies including a hospital, university and 24 private companies.

Later, it was revealed many of the tech companies like Intel, Cisco, VMware, and Nvidia were breached by a malware installed through software update pushed by SolarWinds.

Twitter Bitcoin hack- On July 15th, 2020 social networking giant Twitter had to lock down the twitter accounts of some of its elite customers as their accounts became a victim of a Cryptocurrency cyber attack. Going by the details, hackers somehow took hold of high-profile accounts of globally noted public figures such as Elon musk, Barack Obama, bill gates, Apple and Uber to post tweets claiming to support charity work by sending bitcoins to a cryptocurrency wallet. The tweet further claimed that sent amount will get doubled within no time. This made many of the followers of the elite group deposit the amount- thus earning them $106,000 within no time. Investigation launched later revealed that the threat actors launched social engineering attacks on the servers of Twitter and stole the administration tools to launch a digital scam campaign on over 130 accounts.

Data Breach at Marriot– Hotel Giant Marriot made an official announcement on March 31st this year it became a victim of a cyber attack that stole sensitive information of over 5.2 million of its guests. Investigations launched later revealed that the attack was launched after stealing login credentials from two of the company’s employees at a franchise property- Starwood Hotels.

Easy Jet Cyber Attack– EasyJet, a low-cost airliner from UK, made an official announcement in June 2020 that it became a victim of a sophisticated cyber attack where hackers accessed information pertaining to over 9 million customers. The highlight of the attack was that the threat actors also accessed credit and debit card details of over 2,208 customers. The airliner immediately issued a warning to all its customers and urged them to keep an eye of their bank statement for new few months.

Cyber Attack on New Zealand Stock Exchange- A digital disruption knocked the New Zealand (NZ) stock exchange two times in August and September of this year, disrupting the trade operations for hours. Later it was found in the probe that the attack was of Distributed denial of service (DDoS) genre and caused a major impact on many of the company earnings that fetch profits by selling their stocks. The Government of NZ had to monitor the situation after the country’s Government Communications Security Bureau issued an alert that more such attacks will be launched by the end of this year.

Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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