Top 5 Most Notorious Cyber Attacks in History

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There was a time when bank robberies and train heists made the news. In fact, there was a time when a data breach affecting a few million people would have been permanently burned onto the front page of every news paper and website known to humankind.

Those days are gone now, and they’ve been replaced by the more commonplace and somehow less alarming stories of billions being affected by cyber-attacks. From 2000 to 2019, 3.5 billion have been affected by these breaches. Here are the top 5 most notorious. 

1. Equifax

Arguably the most notorious on this list, Equifax was hit in 2017 with 147.9 million consumers affected. As one of the largest credit bureaus in the United States, you can imagine how shocked consumers were to learn their personal credit data had been hacked. 

Personal information included social security numbers, addresses, birth dates, and even driver’s license numbers. Equifax was found to be at fault thanks to various security lapses and a poor response. Primarily, their app was unpatched and therefore wide open to attack. Thanks to legal aid like DC Federal Defense Attorney Dennis Boyle, a class action lawsuit was filed and won against the company.

2. Adult Friend Finder

While it’s probably funny to those who were unaffected, any one of 412.2 million accounts hacked on Adult Friend Finder in 2016 probably didn’t get a laugh out of it. The website is essentially a friend finding social network, but more geared toward casual hookups, adult content, and affairs. 

The hack also affected the entire network, which included and In the end, the hack reached back through 20 years of personal data ranging from names to addresses and emails. Talk about risky business. 

3. Adobe

Reported in early October of 2013, Adobe had been struck by hackers who ran through roughly 3 million encrypted credit cards on record. The company later estimated that 38 million active users had their IDs and passwords hacked as well, though the company had previously put the total at 153 million. Adobe ended up paying $1.1 million in legal fees as well as undisclosed amount to consumers in a lawsuit. 

4. eBay

Roughly 145 million users were impacted in 2014, with eBay reporting everything from names to birthdays and passwords being stolen. With this hack, cyber criminals had stolen credentials from three corporate employees to break into the system.From there, they went unnoticed for 229 days. 

5. Yahoo

From 2013 to 2014, cyber criminals were able to breach the data of 3 billion user accounts on Yahoo. It’s still known as the largest breach in history. Telephone numbers, email addresses, full names, and more were all compromised. 

These happened in two separate breaches, both from different attackers, but were close enough together and targeted the same information. Despite hiring a Federal Crimes law firm in NYC and handling the breaches excellently with customers, the company lost $350 million in value.