Nowadays, cyber-attacks news headlines are flashing everywhere. Be it any hacker group hacking the computers for fun or any alleged government entity compromising sensitive information; the internet ecosystems is now changed into a binary battlefield. So, we have assembled a small list of the top 5 most notorious cyberattacks of the decade for you.
Who needs a weapon when a keyboard can destroy everything? We are living in the year 2020, and the 2010s decade is coming to an end. In this decade, we have come across almost all cyber attack types:
- High–level data breaches.
- Incidents of prolific hacktivism.
- A number of nation-state cyber-espionage operations.
- Several events of financially-focused cybercrimes.
- Non-stop monstrous malware with the capability to render the systems completely unusable.
Hence, we have come up with the top 5 most notorious cyberattacks of the decade that gave birth to a new era or trend of more sophisticated recent cyber attacks.
The WannaCry cyberattack was one of the most high-scale attacks which put ransomware on everyone’s map. Even the individual who doesn’t have any knowledge about the byte from a bite started paying attention to malware activities in general.
By taking help from the exploits of the Equation Group hacking community, the cyber attackers created a monstrous ransomware encryptor that spread over the internet as well as the local network like wildfire.
In a time of four days, the WannaCry epidemic compromised over 2,00,000 computer systems in about 150 countries. The encryptor was so treacherous that it affected even critical infrastructures like hospitals. The ransomware encrypted all the devices and other medical equipment of the hospitals. Some factories even had to stop their production operations due to the WannaCry attack. WannaCry was one of the most large scale attacks in the history of cyberattacks.
- NotPetya or ExPetr
Although, WannaCry is the most far-reaching epidemic of the decade, but the title for the costliest cyberattacks goes to ExPetr, which is also known as NotPetya. Just like WannaCry, the cyber attackers used the exploits of some other hacking group. In this case, they used EternalBlue as well as EternalRomance exploits.
This worm encrypted almost everything that came in its way. However, the total number of infected systems was less, but the total cost was too high at approximately $10 billion. The attack’s main target was the business organizations. The initial victim of this encryption attack was the financial software MeDoc. It spread all over the network by managing to take control of the MeDoc update server. The client’s system used to get affected when installing a software update, which was actually NotPetya malware in disguise.
There have been instances of cyberattacks initiated by different nation-states against one another, but the Stuxnet cyberattack was the first one that flashed on the cyberattacks news headlines across the whole world. It marked the start of a new era of cyberwar between the nation-states.
Stuxnet was basically a worm that was created by the US as well as Israeli intelligence services together. The aim of this worm was to disable the uranium-enrichment centrifuges in Iran. The worm spread through USB flash drives affecting even those computer systems which were not connected to the internet. The attack was a success as it reprogrammed the Siemens programmable controllers and physically destroyed the uranium-enrichment centrifuges.
Users believe that public Wi-Fi networks are not safe, but what about the hotel’s network. Although hotel Wi-Fi is also used by the public, but there is at least some kind of authorization, which makes it safe. The DarkHotel spyware changed this misconception.
The top-level managers and high-ranking officials on their stay in the hotel used to get a seemingly legitimate update when connecting to the hotel’s network. On installing the update, DarkHotel spyware used to infect the devices and allowed the adversaries to initiate targeted phishing attacks.
Botnets have been around for a long time now. The introduction of the Internet of Things (IoT) and the 5G network has given it a new life. There were some IoT devices whose security was not given importance before, and there was no antivirus software developed explicitly for them. But suddenly, those less critical IoT devices started getting infected at a massive scale using a botnet malware named Mirai.
This botnet kept on growing and spreading just waiting for the instructions from its owner. And suddenly, on 21st October 2016, its owner decided to test the capability of this giant botnet. The malware flooded the server of Dyn, DNS service provider, with requests. The Dyn server was unable to handle such a large scale DDoS attack and crashed. Due to this, online services of PayPal, Netflix, PlayStation, Twitter, Spotify, and others were greatly affected. It is one of the most significant cyberattacks US which made everyone think about the cybersecurity and safety of “smart devices”.
Our primary focus here was to give you knowledge about how sophisticated the recent cyber attacks have become. So, we dedicated this entire post to the most notorious cyberattacks of the decade.