Nearly everyone can be a target for hackers. Hackers constantly look for login credentials of individuals and then launch different kinds of attacks against their targets. Given that we repeatedly share our personal information on the social media, hackers can access some information about us and launch serious attacks against us. In most cases, they attack members of the general population with the intention of stealing personal credentials. However, in some rare cases, hackers target the accounts of very prominent persons. The aim of these types of attack is to embarrass the individual. Here are some of the famous hacks in 2016.
Why the famous hacks in 2016 occurred
In all these cases, the main motivation of the hackers was to get popularity. Motivated by the need to gain popularity, hackers regularly try to hack into the accounts of well-known individuals. By successfully hacking into the accounts of prominent personalities, hackers seek to win credit for their exploits.
The second reason as to why hackers managed to pull off some of these major hacking jobs is that hackers are constantly using new tools to carry out their attacks. As much as the cyber security world is fast evolving in the field of development of new antimalware programs, hackers are discovering new tools of attack. Hackers, using new methods such as social engineering, are increasingly targeting new individuals to demonstrate that their hacking approaches are working.
Third, as it is the case with whaling attacks, hacker target specific individuals with the aim of getting some secret information about the persons. The need to get personal information also motivated some of these major hacks of 2016.
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In June of this year, Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg tasted the bitter pill of hackers when he had his Pinterest and Twitter accounts hacked. This was a major hack considering the reputation of the Facebook CEO as a programmer. His social platform, Facebook, is also the biggest social networking site in the world. This makes the attack on his accounts one of the biggest and famous hacks in 2016.
The Bitcoin Exchange
This year, hackers engaged in the second largest attack on BitFinex, a Hong Kong exchange company known for its Bitcoin cryptocurrency. The hackers stole digital currency that is worth over $65 million. This is a big blow to the company and millions of people who trade in this currency. The identities of the hackers remain unknown.
Sundar Pichai is the CEO of Google. Sundar’s Quora account was hacked by the cyber criminals shortly after Zuckerberg’s social media accounts were hacked. The hackers exploited this by posting on Sundar’s Twitter account. According to the hackers, Quora contains a loophole they used to access the account of the reputed Google CEO.
The US Democratic Party
Recently, the hackers took their attacks from major tech CEOs to the political arena. The campaign network used by the US Democratic Party’s presidential candidate, Hilary Clinton was hacked. Authorities are yet to identify the information that the hackers took. A review of the attack is still in progress. This is the third time the party will witness such cyber attacks on their accounts this year. Earlier in the year, hackers managed to access the party’s fundraising committee’s account too. Before that, hackers accessed their DNC account.
Earlier this year, Russian criminals suspected to be the Carbanak group hacked over 330,000 cash registers all over the world. The affected stores are hotels, reputable retail stores, and multinational fast food chains. Authorities do not know the scale of the damage that the hackers caused. The point-of-sales systems used by most of these stores are run by Micros, a subsidiary of Oracle.
What major hacks say about the future
There are several things we can learn from these famous hacks of 2016. Some of them are as follows.
- Hackers will continue to target prominent as well as ordinary individuals. In the case of prominent persons, hackers will be interested in gaining popularity rather than stealing valuable personal information.
- Hackers will continue using new and sophisticated tools to carry out attacks in the future.
- Hackers will continue to target organizations in their hacking attacks. Targeting organizations helps hackers to access troves of data if they succeed.
In conclusion, these are five of the most famous hacks in 2016. Millions of other hacks have occurred. However, these five are famous because hackers have successfully targeted prominent individuals and organizations. Since the cyber security field is changing rapidly, we should expect more sophisticated hacking attempts in the future.