The Biggest Web and Hosting Attacks of Recent Years
Website and hosting attacks are now becoming a common occurrence in the world, as we become more digitally connected. Not long ago, there was a massive cyber attack that forced some of the world’s biggest sites, such as Twitter, Netflix, and Amazon to go offline momentarily.
There have been some huge attacks on websites of individuals, companies, and public institutions over the years, but let’s take a look at the most recent shocking cases.
On New Year’s Eve 2015, the BBC had one of the largest DDoS attacks in history. It saw the entire domain of the BBC, including its radio player and on-demand TV service go offline for over 3 hours. There were other technical issues for the rest of the morning.
The distributed denial of service attack against the major news website was carried out by a group that called itself ‘New World Hacking.’ It said the attack reached 602Gbps and that it was “only a test.”
The hackers, who had also hit the campaign website of the then US presidential candidate Donald Trump, said that they hadn’t planned to take down BBC’s website for that long. They said their major focus was on taking down websites affiliated to terrorist group ISIS.
In October 2016, the Internet was attacked globally as hackers crippled several servers which made multiple websites go offline at once. After the working of a critical internet point was disrupted by multiple web attacks, hundreds of popular websites were taken offline for hours.
The cyber attackers had targeted Dyn, a company that re-routes internet traffic, which affected major websites like Twitter, eBay and Netflix, and threw millions of visitors into Internet outage for hours.
Although no one came out to claim responsibility, experts said that the attacks were basic and could have been carried out by mischievous teenagers. Besides, there were no signs that personal data of the site visitors had been stolen or their security compromised.
The attacks happened twice in one day. The first was shortly after noon and took down websites for more than two hours. The second attack occurred three hours later with further disruptions to global Internet which particularly affected some of the largest websites in the US and the UK.
This instance was similar to an experience at Bangladesh Bank, only this case was smaller and occurred later into the year. In late 2016, a web attack affected 40,000 customers of Tesco Bank. But this time, something rare happened as customers began to report that finances were directly being withdrawn from their accounts. In the end, about £2.5 million was stolen from the accounts of the bank’s customers, which affected one in 15 of them.
In comparison, the Bangladesh Bank cyber attack ranks as one of the biggest bank heists in history, this saw the cyber criminals raking in over $81 million (or £64.5 million). They were determined to move more than $1 billion offshore when the loophole was blocked and they were cut off.
The audacious cyber criminals had taken the login details of a bank worker, through which they installed malware into the bank’s digital network, which allowed them to take full control of the bank’s transfer system.
Philippines suffered one of the biggest website attacks in April 2016, which affected the whole nation, even though it was underreported in European mainstream news. The cyber criminals had targeted the digital records of voters during the country’s general election, which saw around 55 million people losing personal information that had been stored in the database of the central electoral body. ‘Anonymous Philippines,’ the group that carried out the attack, then posted online the information they had collected.
Sony suffered a major attack on its system in 2014, only three years after hackers had gained access to the company’s PlayStation Network and put the credit data cards of over 70 million customers at risk.
In the 2014 attack, the hackers, code-named ‘Guardians of Peace’, released confidential data from the world leading digital company, including personal, security, and financial information about its employees.
The attackers also got their hands on other business sensitive information such as scripts on upcoming films and the health data of some famous actors. It forced Sony to pull an upcoming film, The Interview, and sink in about $15 million to stop the attack, which barely did anything to solve the issue.
Reactions to the Cyber Attacks
In a reaction to the increasing threat of cyber attacks on businesses worldwide, New Zealand’s largest domain name and web hosting company, Umbrellar, recently signed a partnership with providers of the .kiwi domain name to protect 200,000 domain names.
“Recent research in New Zealand shows one in ten Kiwis are likely to fall for scam emails. Globally, spear-phishing directed toward company employees increased by 55% last year. So the risks are very real,” Brendan Wilde, Marketing Manager at Umbrellar Cloud Backup, said.
More businesses across the world have demonstrated a desire to beef up their cyber security systems in different ways and this has led to a rise in value for cybersecurity companies.
The attacks underline the importance of using a web hosting company that’s not just solid and experienced, but one that also makes dedicated efforts to take care of your business online. That means they’ll always be on top of things, providing continuous support and management.