Biggest hacker attacks: This is how the hackers did it

Biggest hacker attacks: This is how the hackers did it

Hacker attacks now come in all sizes. They range from attacks on individual devices to attacks on large corporations. What were the biggest hacker attacks, what was the goal behind them and how did the hackers go about it? We'll tell you more in this article!

Hacker attack on the website

One of the biggest hacker attacks was related to the popular dating portal This website has been online since 2001 and advertised itself as extremely discreet. Users therefore hoped that all data would remain under lock and key.

However, this trust was broken in 2015. In fact, a total of 37 million data records were stolen and published as part of the hacker attack.

The biggest hacker attacks: Dropbox and Target

Dropbox is a well-known file hoster that was also hacked. The 2012 attack is even one of the biggest hacker attacks on the Internet, because a total of 68 million credentials were stolen in this attack. The hackers even had access to all the data, as it was only partially encrypted.

Since the hackers had hacked into the system using the password of an employee, this hacker attack is directly related to the attack on the LinkedIn company. The employee had used exactly the same password for his LinkedIn account, which is why the social network also faced a hacker attack.

Furthermore, the retail chain Target was also the victim of one of the largest hacker attacks. Target has around 1,900 stores in the USA and Canada. In 2013, a total of 40 million credit and debit card details were stolen. In addition, there were another 70 million data records with personal information of the customers. This information included telephone numbers and addresses. The CEO at the time, Gregg Steinhafel, resigned from his post six months after the hacker attack.

Biggest hacker attacks on PSN, Anthem Inc. and J. P. Morgan

The PlayStation Network became the focus of hackers in 2011. Approximately 75 million pieces of data were stolen during this hack attack. This data also included credit card information. The attack on PlayStation Network is one of the biggest hacker attacks on the Internet, because in addition to the theft of a lot of data, the company was also down for 23 days. The company initially wanted to keep this largest hacker attack secret. However, this plan backfired and the company was sued for 18 million US dollars in compensation.

A hacking attack in 2015 targeted one of the largest health insurance companies in the US, Anthem Inc. Approximately 80 million records were stolen in this largest hacking attack at the time. Among the stolen data were Social Security numbers, addresses, and income information. When security experts investigated the case, they found that hackers hired by the Chinese government were allegedly involved in the hacking attack.

Another attack affected J. P. Morgan, which is one of the largest banks in the USA. Hackers gained access to 83 million records in 2014. The hackers gained access using the password of an employee. With improved protection against hackers in the form of 2-factor authentication, this largest hacker attack could probably have been avoided.

The biggest hacker attacks: LinkedIn and eBay

As one of the largest business networks, LinkedIn is also the focus of cybercriminals. In 2016, one of the largest hacker attacks on the business network occurred, in which over 117 million passwords were offered for sale via a file hoster. The last major hacker attack on the portal took place in 2021, when several hundred million data records were stolen due to a data leak.

In 2014, the eBay trading platform was the target of one of the largest hacker attacks. A total of 145 million data records were stolen. Among these data records were telephone numbers, addresses and dates of birth. The company received a lot of criticism because the hacker attack was detected much too late. In addition, eBay hesitated to make the hackers' attack public.

The biggest hacker attack affecting Yahoo

Yahoo has been the victim of large-scale hacker attacks for two years in a row. In 2013 and 2014, hackers captured passwords, phone numbers, names and email addresses, among other things. The extent of the attacks only became known in the context of the purchase by Verizon and led to a reduction in the value of the company - because contrary to Yahoo's original announcement, not one billion accounts, but all three billion accounts were affected. Russian spies are said to have been responsible for these largest hacker attacks.

How to protect yourself against hacker attacks

As the biggest hacker attacks show, appropriate protection against hackers is essential in this day and age. Proven security procedures, such as two-factor authentication, are a good first step in ensuring greater security.

It is also important to be careful when browsing and to choose an anonymous search engine, for example. This improves security, especially for children, because certain pages are not even displayed, which hackers can use to gain access to the device or the data. In principle, you protect yourself and your children from hacker attacks with a responsible approach to media and appropriate media education.