The database of any company or website is the most vital part of their business. This is why security measures and features are always top priorities that should be considered for any website or company. This concern is not only limited to major companies but also affects small time businessmen as well. Hackers and other internet outlaws are always on the prowl in looking for fragile security features that they can penetrate and big companies can be left in turmoil once these internet criminals are able to break through them.
Implementation of security features, and being wary of security measures, have been around ever since the internet was born. Despite this, a lot of major companies fall prey to hackers and internet outlaws leading to loss, misuse, and alterations of their database. Here are a few of the biggest internet security breaches that the world has seen.
The popular e-commerce website became a victim of hackers when they announced that more than 140 million of their users would be forced to change login details because their database has been accessed. Considering the strong connection between Paypal and eBay, this news alarmed not just eBay members, but also Paypal users who feared possible financial fraud cases that could involve millions or even billions of dollars. Fortunately, the problem was solved before the hackers were able to penetrate through eBay’s association with Paypal.
It was the holiday season back in 2013 when a group of hackers declared that they were able to install their own code that will retrieve information from credit card transactions with Target. Millions of credit and debit card users who had recently purchased items at Target stores panicked, fearing that the hackers would steal their credit card details and eventually take over their account. Two weeks later, Target admitted that over 50 million customers had their account details compromised.
This is not really one of those major hacks since Heartland is just a small credit card processing company. However, the damage to the victims in this mishap is very tragic, which is why I am putting this one on the list. It was 2008 and Heartland’s database was attacked by a malware. The worst part is the company and its computer experts did not know that their database had already been hacked and their system already infected. This allowed the hackers to continuously steal information from its users for several months without the company knowing about it at all. The problem was only discovered when credit card moguls, Mastercard and Visa, became suspicious of the questionable transactions. The problem was then solved but Heartland ended up paying more than $150 million of compensation to the victims. The hacker was also traced and was sentenced to be jailed for at least 20 years. This was also a special case because it is one of those online hacking cases that was solved by legal prosecution.
Before Facebook and Twitter ruled the world of social media, MySpace dominated this platform without competition. Despite its popularity and stability, the website was hacked and the personal details of its 350 million users were compromised. What made MySpace system administrators look bad was the fact that they weren’t able to diagnose the problem and all they knew was that the site had been hacked. MySpace tried to redeem itself by terminating hacked accounts to the dismay of many users. The illegal act was ultimately traced to a Russian hacker with the alias “Peace.”
The Russian hacker “Peace” once again surfaced on the internet selling information and personal details. This time around, social media site LinkedIn fell victim to his expertise. Over 150 million accounts were stolen from the site and a big percentage of these accounts contained email addresses along with passwords. This was only announced early last year, but the actual hacking was done during the early parts of 2012.
Despite the modern technology and constant work in developing better security features, it is still hard to conclude that a website is safe from cyber crimes, particularly hacking. As technology and security features improve, so do the skills and knowledge of so-called hackers. It is better to just watch out and help each other to create an internet community free from malicious acts and cyber criminals.