The world's first cyberattack happened thirty years ago – in the fall of 1988. For the United States of America, where thousands of computers were affected by the virus within a few days, the new attack came as a complete surprise. It has become much more difficult to catch computer security specialists by surprise, but cybercriminals around the world still manage to do it. After all, whatever one may say, the largest cyberattacks are committed by programming geniuses. The only pity is that they direct their knowledge and skills to the wrong place.
Ransomware viruses attacking computers around the world are reported regularly in news feeds. And the further, the larger the scale of the cyberattacks. Here are just ten of them: the most resonant and most significant for the history of this type of crime.
Morris worm, 1988
Today, the Morris worm source diskette is a museum piece. You can look at it in the Science Museum of American Boston. Its former owner was graduate student Robert Tappan Morris, who created one of the earliest internet worms and powered it at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on November 2, 1988. As a result, 6,000 Internet sites were paralyzed in the United States, and the total damage from this amounted to $ 96.5 million. The best computer security specialists were hired to fight the worm. However, they also failed to identify the creator of the virus. Morris himself surrendered to the police – at the insistence of his father, who was also involved in the computer industry.
This computer virus has a couple of other names as well. It is also known as 'Snee' or CIH. The virus is of Taiwanese origin. In June 1998, it was developed by a local student who programmed the start of a massive virus attack on personal computers around the world on April 26, 1999, the day of the next anniversary of the Chernobyl accident. The pre-planted 'bomb' went off on time, hitting half a million computers on the planet. At the same time, the malicious program managed to accomplish the previously impossible – to disable the hardware of computers by hitting the Flash B chip IOS.
Melissa was the first malicious code sent by email. In March 1999, he paralyzed the servers of large companies around the world. This happened due to the fact that the virus generated more and more infected messages, creating a powerful load on mail servers. At the same time, their work either slowed down very much or stopped completely. The damage from the Melissa virus to users and companies was estimated at $ 80 million. In addition, he became the 'ancestor' of a new type of virus.
It was one of the very first DDoS attacks in the world, launched by a 16-year-old Canadian schoolboy. Several world famous sites (from Amazon to Yahoo) came under attack in February 2000, in which the hacker Mafiaboy was able to find a vulnerability. As a result, the work of the resources was disrupted for almost a whole week. The damage from the full-scale attack turned out to be very serious, it is estimated at $ 1.2 billion.
Titanium rain, 2003
This is the name of a series of powerful cyberattacks that hit several defense industry companies and a number of other US government agencies in 2003. The goal of the hackers was to gain access to classified information. Sean Carpenter, a computer security specialist, managed to track down the authors of the attacks (it turned out that they were from Guangdong province in China). He did a tremendous job, but instead of winning laurels, he ended up in trouble. The FBI considered Sean's methods inappropriate, because in the course of his investigation, he made “illegal computer hacking abroad.”
Viruses reached mobile phones in 2004. Then there was a program that made itself felt by the inscription 'Cabire', which was displayed on the screen of the mobile device every time it was turned on. At the same time, the virus, through technology Bluetooth, tried to infect other mobile phones as well. And this greatly influenced the charge of the devices, it lasted at best for a couple of hours.
Cyber attack on Estonia, 2007
What happened in April 2007 can easily be called the first cyberwar. Then, in Estonia, government and financial sites went offline all at once for a company with medical resources and operating online services. The blow turned out to be quite tangible, because in Estonia by that time e-government was already in place, and bank payments were almost entirely online. The cyberattack paralyzed the entire state. Moreover, this happened against the backdrop of mass protests that took place in the country against the transfer of the monument to Soviet soldiers of World War II.
The Trojan horse started spreading on social networks in 2007. The first to suffer were users Facebook who received letters with photos attached to them. An attempt to open a photo turned into the fact that the user got to the pages of sites infected with the ZeuS virus. At the same time, the malicious program immediately penetrated into the computer system, found the personal data of the owner of the PC and promptly removed funds from the person's accounts in European banks. The virus attack affected German, Italian and Spanish users. The total damage was 42 billion dollars.
This virus – a banking Trojan that steals financial information from compromised PCs – was created by American and Israeli hackers working in tandem. In 2012, when Gauss hit banks in Libya, Israel and Palestine, he was classified as a cyber weapon. The main task of the cyberattack, as it turned out later, was to check information about the possible secret support of the Lebanese banks for terrorists.
300 thousand computers and 150 countries of the world – this is the statistics on the victims of this ransomware virus. In 2017, in different parts of the world, he penetrated into personal computers with an operating system Windows (taking advantage of the fact that they did not have a number of necessary updates at that time), blocked the owners' access to the contents of the hard drive, but promised to return it for a fee of $ 300. Those who refused to pay the ransom were stripped of all the captured information. The damage from WannaCry is estimated at $ 1 billion. Its authorship is still unknown, it is believed that the developers from the DPRK had a hand in creating the virus.
Criminals all over the world say: criminals are going online, and banks are being robbed not during raids, but with the help of malicious viruses embedded in the system. And this is a signal for every user: to be more careful with your personal information on the network, to more reliably protect the data on your financial accounts, not to neglect the regular change of passwords.