Teenager vs. U.S. Department of Defense
If anyone deserves the title of the real "Mr. Robot" (in honor of the genius hacker from the series of the same name), then it is Jonathan James. In 1999, he was able to remotely connect to one of the computers of the US Department of Defense and, using the program, gained access to messages, the real names of employees and their valid passwords. The information received by James was, of course, secret and concerned mainly plans to protect the United States from potential threats. But, perhaps, the most important thing is that he even ended up with the program code of the life support system of astronauts on the International Space Station.
James was 16 years old at the time of the first attack. He could not leave unpunished: he was caught in 2000 and, due to his minority, was sentenced to house arrest and banned from using computers. But if Jonathan were over eighteen at the time of the break-in, he would have received about ten years in prison.
In 2008, James was found shot to death. The official version is suicide, but, of course, a theory has appeared on the network that the American special services have eliminated the hacker.
The largest DDOS attack in history
DDOS is a fairly common hacker attack, the purpose of which is to disable the attacked object. An attacker, often from multiple computers, sends gigantic amounts of data to the server, which it obviously cannot cope with, which is why ordinary users have huge connection problems. In the worst (for a hacker - the best) case, the server simply "crashes", that is, stops working.
Ironically, the largest DDOS attack in history has been targeted by the international organization Spamhaus, whose goal is to fight spam on the network: to identify spammers, generate black lists and sell them to mail server holders. In 2013, Spamhaus blacklisted the Dutch provider CyberBunker - so any information from CyberBunker was automatically considered spam on all mail servers that collaborated with Spamhaus.
A few days later, Spamhaus underwent a catastrophic DDOS attack that avalanched the company's servers: the volume of DDOS traffic reached an astronomical 300 gigabits per second. And this despite the fact that already 50 gigabits is enough to bring down a fairly large server.
Official website of the Spamhaus company © spamhaus.org
Anti-spam filters have stopped working across Europe. This went on for over a week, and Spamhaus was even forced to seek help from Google. As a result, hackers from Russia and Eastern Europe were accused of the incident.
In 2013, the CyberBunker founder was arrested in Spain on suspicion of involvement in the attack. Later he was released, the court's decision has not yet been announced.
Hackers against cheaters
Sometimes hackers can do more than just steal your money or your account from some World of Warcraft. But also destroy the family.
This is exactly what happened to many users of the controversial Ashley Madison site. Its target audience is married men and married women looking for an affair on the side. An online resource for those who are about to change.
For a long time, the worst thing that happened to Ashley Madison was public censure. However, in July 2015, a group of hackers, The Impact Team, announced that they managed to gain access to a database of all service customers, that is, names, postal addresses, credit card numbers, payment history … The hackers put forward one simple demand: Ashley Madison must immediately cease to exist - or all information will be made publicly available.
Ashley Madison official website © ashleymadison.com
Five days later, service representatives reported that the security loophole had been closed, and the US security forces were involved in the hacking case. They did not plan to close the site, betting that the hackers were bluffing. In vain - without waiting for the fulfillment of the requirements, The Impact Team mercilessly posted on the network everything that the visitors of the resource were so diligently hiding. A convenient database was even compiled, where anyone could type in a name of interest to him and see if it is in the database. You could find out if your husband and wife are cheating on you, "check for lice" your best friend or boss.
The consequences were disastrous: On August 24, Toronto police reported two suicides related to the Ashley Madison burglary. Families have collapsed, marriages have broken up, and the world is still arguing over who is to blame for all this.
Bitcoins for half a billion
Bitcoins are the cryptocurrency that many economists call the currency of the future. Bitcoin transactions do not need intermediaries, your savings cannot be burned, they cannot be frozen, and almost impossible to trace.
Now bitcoins can be easily exchanged for the same dollars, so it is not surprising that hackers are very interested in this topic.
On February 7, 2014, the world's largest bitcoin exchange service Mt.Gox discovered a vulnerability in the system and reported that over the course of three to four years, hackers had stolen half a billion dollars from bitcoin users. Since all the stolen funds were transferred to the same account, there is a high probability that the attacker acted alone.
The end of the story is sad: Mt. Gox suffered significant financial and reputational losses and went bankrupt. The hacker was not found, and given the nature of bitcoin as a currency and his fortune of half a billion dollars, it is unlikely that they will ever be found.
The consequences of this hack are not very serious, but it is worth mentioning it for several reasons. First, Yahoo, one of the largest IT companies, was attacked. Second, the scale of the stolen data is astounding.
In 2014, more than half a billion (and according to some estimates, a billion) of data about accounts from the company's services leaked from Yahoo's servers. The details of the hack were published only two years later, in 2016. So if you are registered with Yahoo and, say, have an e-mail on it and hear about this story for the first time, it's time to change your password.
Yahoo official website © yahoo.com
Although, according to Yahoo employees, in the worst case, only real names, phone numbers and dates of birth of users fell into the hands of hackers, but not credit card numbers. In addition, passwords are encrypted on company servers. But who knows for sure?>