Posted: 15 July, 2019 Category: General

Way back in 1834, the first cyber-attack took place, by the Blanc brothers; they discovered a way to see current trends before the Bordeaux stock market by ‘hacking’ the steganography system in France. Since this attack, most cyber-attacks have taken place over the internet. Here, we discover the most notorious cyber-attacks as online security label manufacturer Seareach share the history.

Today’s cyber-attacks come in a number of different forms: security and password breaches, email scams, viruses, GDPR issues and malware.

Every day, individuals are targeted via their computers or smart devices with cyber-attacks, but big businesses with online portals and security and paywall settings can be at a higher risk. Most of the well-known cyber-attacks in recent memory have involved household names with hackers getting past security defences to access user data and bring down companies.

Online security label manufacturer has created a timeline of these most notorious attacks which have seen millions of individuals personal data accessed and the companies security brought into question.

Looking at the history of cyber-attack:

● 1834: First cyber-attack, Blanc Brothers
● 1988: Morris worm program
● 1995: Kevin Poulsen radio caller
● 2005: Mastercard hack
● 2008: Anonymous group attacks
● 2011: PlayStation network
● 2013: Yahoo accounts
● 2014: Summer hit attack
● 2017: Equifax breach
● 2018: Exactis leak

What are the most common forms of cyber-attacks in today’s technology-driven age?

  1. Malware – is known as malicious software, a computer program designed to corrupt and cause damage to computers without the user’s consent.
  2. Ransomware – acts as a bug worm or trojan horse which takes advantage of open security vulnerabilities.
  3. Viruses – generally spread from computer to computer. They’re a software program which typically is designed to replicate itself. Its purpose is to cause computer malfunction in various ways.
  4. Spyware/adware – both work when you install freeware type programs or applications. Spyware monitors user activity on the internet once installed.
  5. Trojan horse – is a type of malware that is disguised as legitimate software. They’re many ways trojans can be introduced to your system, such as misled of social engineering and downloading files which look legitimate.
  6. Pharming and Phishing – Pharming is when a criminal target a websites DNS (domain name system) server and redirects you to an imposter site.

Then the attack will occur when people enter their username and password. Phishing is when an email appears to be from a company that you are in contact with or have regular correspondence with. However, this is not a legitimate email and they’re trying to trick you to sign in with your username and password.

Speaking about the study, Stuart Jailler at Seareach commented:

“It’s important from a GDPR perspective, but also a financial point of view, that you keep up to date with the latest security threats with your business. Your security and cyber-walls must withstand attacks, which means updating regularly and not letting security issues slide. This will ensure your business will run smoothly and no problems occur for you and your customers and that their data is protected.”

He continued:

“Businesses can protect themselves by identifying the threats right away, even basic ones like ‘unauthorised access to your computer’ should be dealt with immediately. The key is to act first, not later. Don’t leave any data vulnerable, regularly check important data and carry out a risk assessment and routine checks. Ensure all internal software is up-to-date, employees with computers, smartphone devices and other equipment which is taken off-site has the correct level of security and can easily be tracked and traced using asset labels should something happen.”

Take a look at our accompanying infographic below: