Age of Cybercrime

Age of Cybercrime: Global

We have a huge history of cybercrimes that can’t be ignored because we have to face a lot of consequences due to such attacks and need to contact professional cybersecurity experts. Moreover, if we could learn how attacks happened and were executed by adversaries, we could save ourselves from future complications.

This article will let you understand the mindset of the cybercriminals before and after. Following that we can prepare better cybersecurity solutions to protect our confidential data against online threats executed by professional hackers online while keeping themselves anonymous. Let’s continue!

The Fascinating History of Cybercrime

According to technical standards, the first cyberattack took place in France in 1834, long before the internet was even thought of.

By breaking into the French telegraph network, attackers were able to steal financial market data. Since then, there has been a sharp increase in cybercrime, which has been accompanied by a fascinating evolution of strategies that are all used to achieve malevolent ends.

However, it wasn’t until the middle of the 20th century that cybercrime started to take off. Cybercriminals were propelled by the digital revolution to become early users of technology.

They used their foresight and ingenuity to create new, cunning strategies to steal money and data from individuals and companies.

The names and images of these infamous attackers, whose “groundbreaking” work attracted the attention of federal investigators and the envy of other hackers, would line the halls of a Cybercrime Hall of Infamy if there were one.

The History of Cybercrime

Cybercrime: The 1990s

The 1990s: New Technology Brings New Crime

With the internet connecting people across various communication networks wherever they were, all over the world, the 1990s gave rise to some of the finest communication technologies known to mankind.

But not all of it was good news. These developments contributed to the growth of cybercrime. The fact that trust and safety controls weren’t initially a big issue as these new technologies were conceived and built was exploited by hackers and criminal actors.

The primary focus of these early days was developing ground-breaking apps for communications and commercial efficiency because cybersecurity was neither a name nor an active field. Nevertheless, a shadow economy was steadily gaining power.

Increased cybercrime rates indicated that attackers were making use of new chances and coming up with innovative ways to enter networks without authorization and modify data online. The following are some prominent cybercrimes from this decade:

S.No. Through 1990s What?
1.

1994

A 16-year-old British teenager and his accomplice, Datastream Cowboy and Kuji, launched a series of attacks against the Air Force’s Rome Laboratory using a “password sniffer” program while obtaining research data that was utilized as attack instructions for jets in battle.
2.

1995

The first documented hacker to make an attempt to rob a bank and a pretty sizable bank at that was Vladimir Levin.

He gained access to Citibank’s network and carried out numerous illegal transactions there.

In total, he moved more than $10 million into several accounts at banks all around the world.

3.

1995

Kevin Mitnick, one of the most prominent hackers in history, broke into huge networks first by tricking individuals and utilizing insiders to obtain the codes to enter, among other companies, Motorola and Nokia.
4.

1998

Under false pretenses, Max Butler, a security consultant for the FBI among others, broke into websites run by the US government.

Officials were made aware of his crimes by the U.S. Air Force, and he was given an 18-month term.

Later, he received a record-breaking 13-year sentence as a hacker for yet another illegal venture.

5.

1999

Before the Melissa Virus struck in March 1999 and affected users all across the internet, the general public was largely unaware of computer viruses.

The Melissa Virus corrupted users’ Microsoft document files and resulted in an estimated $80 million in losses.

Cybercrime: The 2000s

The New Millenium: Cybercrime Ramps Up

More advanced attacks and a profusion of advanced persistent threat actors (APTs), most of which were funded by nation-states, were observed in the first 10 years of the new century.

New viruses and worms brought on by the evolution of cybercrime seriously damaged important areas of the global, digital economy.

By the end of the decade, cybersecurity was a worry for everyone who used computers, but it was particularly important for governmental organizations and big businesses since they had the most to lose. The top 10 cybercrimes in the past ten years are listed below:

S.No. Through 2000s What?
1.

2000

Some of the biggest commercial websites in the world, including Amazon, Yahoo, CNN, and eBay, came under attack from a 15-year-old hacker named Michael Calse who went by the online alias “Mafiaboy.”

The attack cost these companies countless millions of dollars and forced the websites to go offline for hours in certain cases.

2.

2005

1.4 million HSBC Bank MasterCard users’ personal information was exposed as a result of a security flaw at a U.S. store.
3.

2008

Heartland Payment systems were targeted using a mix of SQL injection, password sniffers, and malware in one of the worst breaches ever, compromising the data of 134 million people.

Cybercrime: The 2010s

2010s: An Explosion of Cyber Attacks

Cybercrime has increased dramatically during the past ten years, growing from a cottage sector to a significant industry. Attackers created new malicious software and methods, which raised the rate of cybercrime and the daily attack volume. It cost trillions of dollars.

The rise of the cybercrime sector wasn’t the only one. As the perception of assumed digital security faded, businesses started hiring more cybersecurity specialists to combat the risk of cyber assaults.

A brand-new discipline known as ethical hacking, whose main goal is to find flaws before they are maliciously exploited, has evolved in response to the demand for ongoing data protection.

Organizations are in a vulnerable situation when it comes to protecting against various cyber threats due to the evolution and increased sophistication of these threats and how they are used in assaults. Here are the attacks that caused the most harm throughout this decade:

S.No. Through 2010s What?
1.

2010

Iranian nuclear installations were targeted, and the nation’s uranium enrichment facilities were destroyed by the Stuxnet worm, which has been dubbed the first “digital weapon” in history.
2.

2010

In an attack aimed at financial services businesses, the Zeus Trojan malware was sent throughout the world by email.

More than $70 million was taken from American banks by the 100+ member criminal organization, which was centered mostly in the United States.

3.

2010

Chinese military hackers conducted Operation Aurora against more than 20 top technological businesses in a well-known nation-state strike.

When Google informed the public that some of its intellectual property had been taken in the attack, the public first learned about the attacks.

4.

2011

The Sony Corporation declared In April, that hackers stole data from 77 million PlayStation Network members over a period of a few days.

This information contained the usernames and passwords of gamers, as well as their birthdays, security question responses, and more.

Restoring the system and eliminating the danger took 23 days.

5.

2013

Whistleblower Edward Snowden disclosed sensitive material that was taken from a number of foreign nations using malware as part of the National Security Agency’s PRISM surveillance program in what is arguably the most high-profile data dump in history.
6.

2013

A phishing assault resulted in the theft of the credit card information of over 110 million Target customers.

The plan comprised sending a malicious email to the company’s HVAC subcontractor, which gave hackers access to the data.

7.

2013

By routing HTTPs traffic through its servers and decrypting data, Finnish telecommunications company Nokia was effectively performing man-in-the-middle attacks on the users of its smartphones, according to a researcher.

The business said that it did this to aid in data compression and maintain low rates and fees.

8.

2015

SamSam ransomware first made an appearance, and by 2018, its inventor had made close to $6 million.

The Colorado Department of Transportation and the City of Atlanta were two of its most well-known “hostage-taking” attacks.

9.

2015

Data on 4,000 military and civilian employees who worked for the Joint Chiefs of Staff was compromised as a result of a successful spear-phishing operation against high-value Defense Department targets using tailored emails.

The Pentagon had to shut down its email system as a result of the attack.

10.

2016

When the malware TeleCrypt first debuted, it was aimed at online gamers who downloaded it.

Fortunately, researchers at Malwarebytes soon produced a free decryption tool.

11.

2016

A spear-phishing scheme that fooled a finance staffer into transferring money into bank accounts controlled by cybercriminals resulted in the theft of 50 million Euros from the Austrian aerospace company FACC AG.

The CEO of the business was consequently dismissed.

12.

2017

WannaCry, arguably the most cunning ransomware variant, was able to infect more than 200,000 Windows PCs across 150 countries.

Given that the UK’s National Health Service Hospitals were among the most severely damaged, it was particularly hazardous and lethal.

It is largely believed that North Korean hackers were responsible for the attack.

13.

2017

A month later, NotPetya, an improved variant of the original ransomware virus, capitalized on the popularity of WannaCry.

It destroyed businesses ranging from global pharmaceutical producer Merck to shipping behemoth Maersk.

14.

2017

Using the guise of an Asian manufacturer, a Lithuanian cybercriminal tricked Google and Facebook employees into sending more than $100 million to anonymous offshore bank accounts.

Before his capture, the con was carried out over a period of two years.

Google, for its part, asserted that it had recovered the lost money.

15.

2018

The largest DDoS attack to date shut down all server operations at GitHub, a well-known development site, due to 1.3 terabytes of traffic per second.

More than other firms, GitHub had security procedures in place, but the attack’s sheer magnitude just outweighed them.

16.

2018

The most notable cryptojacking attack may have involved Coinhive, a well-known cryptocurrency mining service that, for a while, was regarded by major security companies as the biggest danger to internet users.

Its computer code could be deployed on websites that have been compromised to steal the devices’ processing power from the site’s users.

The dangerous malware was utilized by crooks to infect millions of devices over a period of 15 long months.

17.

2019

When more than 100 million credit card applications were downloaded and thousands of Social Security and bank account numbers were stolen, Capital One was the victim of one of the biggest data breaches in banking history.

Capital One invested about $150M in damage control.

Cybercrime: 2020-Present

2020 to Today: Billions of Dollars Lost
S.No. Through 2020s What?
1.

2020

In May 2020, Neiman Marcus told 4.6 million clients that a hacker had hacked online accounts and obtained personal information including

a)      Usernames & Passwords,

b)      Customer Names,

c)       Contact Information,

d)      Credit Card Numbers, and

e)      Expiration Dates & Virtual Card Numbers.

2.

2020

In one of the most devastating data breaches of 2020, foreign intelligence agents used a compromised SolarWinds program to break into an estimated 18,000 private and government-affiliated networks.

Russian cyberattacks on U.S. governmental institutions have been on the rise.

Through these data breaches, attackers gained access to a wealth of personally identifiable information, including

a)      Financial Information,

b)      Source Code,

c)       Passwords, and

d)      Usernames.

3.

2021

In an attack that made “ransomware” well-known in the beginning of May, a suspected Russian hacking group took Colonial Pipeline offline for more than three days.

This was a serious setback because Colonial supplies 45% of the aviation fuel, diesel fuel, and gasoline used on the East Coast.

Fuel shortages at certain gas stations, delays in over-the-road supplies, and even claims of gasoline hoarding all contributed to a nationwide surge in gas prices.

4.

2021

Software developer Kaseya in Florida was the target of a ransomware attack by the notorious REvil gang, which demanded $70 million in bitcoin.

Businesses on five different continents were affected by this attack, which also forced the closure of public schools in New Zealand, a large grocery chain in Sweden, and hundreds of businesses in the United States.

5.

2021

Security researchers published a proof-of-concept critical exploit for a remote code execution vulnerability in Log4j, a Java logging library used in a significant number of internet applications, at the end of the year, revealing a zero-day threat that caused enormous waves in the cybersecurity industry.

Businesses all across the world scurried to discover and lessen the effects of the vulnerability in the weeks that followed, as security professionals and experts provided fixes and scanning tools and advised corporations on how to best protect themselves against attack.

6.

2022

The Costa Rican social security agency was shut down by a ransomware attack in late May. The attack spread to other offices in the nation and resulted in a state of emergency.

This is one of the scariest examples of cybercriminals’ willingness to endanger the lives and livelihoods of strangers.

7.

2022

A significant amount of content from a titan of the gaming business was revealed by a hack in mid-September.

A hacker using the handle “teapotuberhacker” gained access to Rockstar Games’ internal Slack channel and stole 90 videos of gameplay from Grand Theft Auto 6, which was much anticipated. The hacker wasn’t done, though.

Teapotuberhacker lived up to their screen name on September 14 when they, well, hacked Uber in a very similar Slack attack.

The hacker gained “pretty much full access to Uber,” including email systems, internal communications, cloud storage, and code repositories, making the worldwide ride-share firm much more vulnerable than Rockstar.

What’s Next in Cybercrime?

People get disappointed after using techniques learned from YouTube videos to prepare better cybersecurity measures for the protection of their confidential information. However, this happens because of a lack of proper knowledge and guidance.

If you are one of those who want to enhance their knowledge and skills in cybersecurity under the guidance of cybersecurity professionals, you can contact Craw Security which offers the best training and certification programs in Delhi, and outside Delhi for IT Aspirants. What are you waiting for? Contact, Now!

About The Author

Suraj Koli is a content specialist with expertise in Cybersecurity and B2B Domains. He has provided his skills for News4Hackers Blog and Craw Security. Moreover, he has written content for various sectors Business, Law, Food & Beverage, Entertainment, and many others. Koli established his center of the field in a very amazing scenario. Simply said, he started his career selling products, where he enhanced his skills in understanding the product and the point of view of clients from the customer’s perspective, which simplified his journey in the long run. It makes him an interesting personality among other writers. Currently, he is a regular writer at Craw Security.

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