the biggest hacks, leaks and data breaches of 2016

Historical hacks come back to haunt, and fresh breaches bite our behinds

This was the year when many historical hacks came back to bite millions just as they were least expecting it. The uptick in delayed reporting contributed to almost 3,000 publicly data breaches this year alone — exposing more than 2.2 billion records. And the year isn’t even over yet.

Even as we approach December 31, there’s no sign of it ending. Let’s take a look back at some of the biggest — and most dangerous — hacks and leaks so far.

FBI hacked terrorist’s iPhone 5c

Should Apple help the FBI unlock a terrorist’s phone? Apple said yes, but not at the expense of everyone else’s security and privacy. The FBI brought a case against Apple to compel it to help its agents break into the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino shooters, who killed 14 people and injured dozens in the terrorist attack in December. Apple refused to help the feds “backdoor” its own product, arguing that it can’t crack the encryption, and lodged a formal appeal. The FBI eventually buckled under public pressure, but not before hiring hackers to break into the phone at the last minute. It set in motion a chain reaction of proposed laws and measures to try to ensure that Apple could never be above the law.

Linux Mint ‘backdoored’ by hacker

Linux Mint remains one of the most popular Linux distributions. That in part made it the target by one hacker, who inserted a backdoor in the operating system and hacked the project’s website to trick users into downloading the malicious version. Hundreds of users downloaded the affected build. The hacker, who goes by the name of Peace (who was instrumental in other hacks) explained how he did it.

SWIFT took numerous hits this year

The global financial messaging system, SWIFT, revealed a new security plan in the wake of a massive $81 million cyber heist from a Bangladeshi bank earlier this year. After learning how the system worked, the cyberattackers took the bank’s SWIFT code and made a series of transaction requests for cash to be sent from the country’s New York-based account to entities across Asia. It was shoddy security at its worst, but lessons were eventually learned.

Trump’s organizations were hit again and again

Well, at least something good happened to Trump this year — for a while, things weren’t looking great. The alleged billionaire’s hotel chain was attacked twice in as many years — including once in April. It’s not all surprising given that his organization was using horribly insecure and unpatched systems that dated back more than a decade. Then, Trump’s presidential campaign leaked the resumes of prospective interns, including their names, addresses, and in some cases sensitive employment details. Let’s hope his cybersecurity strategy is better when he’s in office.

LinkedIn hack hits the headlines — for a second time

If 2016 was anything, it was the year of the repeatedly broken records. LinkedIn was the first of many hack records that was met (and later surpassed) this year. The business networking company was first hit in 2012, but the scale of the attack was only realized this year when the number of records stolen shot up by almost twenty-fold to 117 million accounts. If that wasn’t bad enough, most of the passwords were ridiculously bad — like “123456” and “linkedin.” The alleged hacker was eventually caught in the Czech Republic.

Read the rest of the list on ZDNet here: http://zd.net/2fWqBdy

2017-07-28T13:18:29+00:00

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