The cyber space is a growing community which gives the opportunity to millions to reach out to one another despite the time and distance constraints. The Internet has become a new way of life, however, it has its own set of negative repercussions. It does not take time for the internet to turn from a happy, jolly space to a dark and outright shady space. Some individuals or a group of hackers use this platform for their own dubious schemes, as they target unsuspecting individuals, companies, banks and even the military and government agencies.
In the history of the internet and information technology, we have a large number of cases of cyber crimes and hacking. Here is the list of top 10 biggest cyber crimes in history. Take a look at these crimes and see how these hackers have used their minds and techniques to dupe innocent people:
1. The Original Logic Bomb
Known as – The Original Logic Bomb, is said to be the biggest cyber attacks in history. During the cold war in the year 1982, USA’s Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) found a way to disrupt the operation of a Siberian gas pipeline of Russia without using traditional explosive devices like missiles or bombs.
The CIA allegedly caused the Siberian gas pipeline to explode using a portion of a code in the computer system that controlled its operation in what they tagged as “logic bomb.” The chaos that ensued was so monumental that the resulting fire was even seen from space.
2. WannaCry ransomware attack
The WannaCry ransomware attack rocked the entire world this year in May. It targeted computers running the Microsoft Windows operating system by encrypting data and demanding ransom payments in the Bitcoin cryptocurrency. Within a day of the attack, it was reported to have infected more than 230,000 computers in over 150 countries.
3. Epsilon hacking
It is one of the biggest and costliest cyber attacks in history. A data breach in Epsilon, which is the world’s largest provider of marketing and handling services, caused damages ranging from $225 million to $4 billion dollars.
4. British banks heist
In 2015, British banks reportedly lost tens of millions of pounds after a gang of Russian-based hackers spent two years orchestrating the largest cybercrime ever uncovered. As much as £650 million was thought to have gone missing after the gang used computer viruses to infect networks in more than 100 financial institutions worldwide.
The hacking software was so sophisticated that it allowed the criminals to view video feeds from within supposedly secure offices as they gathered the data they needed to steal.
5. The ATM hackers
A group of cyber criminals mixed hacking with hands-on robbery. They stole $45 million in cash from ATMs in a matter of only minutes. They penetrated a prepaid credit card database and stole all of the information. Using fake magnetic swipe cards — like the ones used to unlock hotel rooms —that were loaded with the information stolen from the prepaid cards, the hackers simply went up to various ATM in cities around the world and withdrew the funds.
6. Edward Pearson
Edward Pearson, a 23-year-old, developed several sophisticated computer programs called Zeus, SpyEye and Python. Pearson scanned the internet for personal financial information such as credit card numbers and names via these programs. Among the internet companies affected was Paypal, one of the world’s most popular payment processing and storage services on the internet. He reportedly stole $112 million.
7. When Sony became a victim of cyber crimes
In 2011, over 75 millions of Playstation Network and Sony Online Entertainment accounts with credit and debit cards information were stolen by cyber criminals. In a result of this hacking an estimated damage at $1 to $2 billion dollars was reported.
8. The $300 million heist
In this attack, Russian hackers stole more than 160 million credit and debit card numbers. In one of the thefts, a company that processes credit and debit card payments for hundreds of business lost an astonishing $200 million. The second-biggest loss was $93 million from Global Payment Systems.
9. Sven Jaschan
Jaschan was a German college student who created Netsky worms and Sasser computer worms. He unleashed a virus in 2004 on the occasion of his 18th birthday. This virus had resounding effects all around the world. The estimated damage was about $500 million dollars. After his crimes, Microsoft placed a huge amount of $250,000 bounty on his head. Later on, he was captured after a three-month manhunt operation.
10. Attack on India
India reported 13,301 cyber security breaches in 2011. However, the biggest cyber attack occurred on July 12, 2012. The hackers penetrated the email accounts of 12,000 people, which include high officials from Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Ministry of Home Affairs, and the Ministry of External Affairs.