Here are the 3 massive cyber attacks of 2020 that shocked the world
2020 was an unconventional year by all standards. With the global pandemic on the rise, businesses were forced to adopt a remote mode of working to maintain the rules of social distancing. As a result, all companies switched to the work-from-home working module. IT played a crucial role in keeping people connected and businesses running during these trying times.
On the downside, the work-from-home module created a security gap which led to an onslaught of cyberattacks that resulted in significant data breaches. As per the findings of a security research firm, 81 multinational corporations from 81 countries came under cyberattacks during the first half of 2020.
Let us take a look at some of the major cyber-attacks that targeted multi-billion companies.
Social Engineering Attack on Twitter
A social engineering cyber attack was carried out on Twitter which is one of the most popular microblogging sites. The intention of the attack was to spread fraudulent news about Bitcoin and to make financial gains out of it. Accounts of the following high-profile celebrities and companies were hacked to generate false news:
- Bill Gates
- Elon Musk
- Jeff Bezos
- Warren Buffet
- Kayne West
- Barack Obama
- Joe Biden
- Micheal Bloomberg
Fraudulent tweets were issued in which these high-profile celebrities requested their followers to buy Bitcoin. They claimed that the value of Bitcoin will double up shortly and guaranteed 100% profit on initial purchase. Since the tweets came from a reliable microblogging site, people perceived them to be true. As a result, Bitcoin worth US $100,000 was traded in a short span of time.
- To enable the spread of false news, the hackers perpetrated a phone spear-phishing attack through which they obtained the credentials of Twitter employees that had access to internal support tools. 130 twitter accounts were targeted, out of which fraudulent tweets were generated from 45 accounts.
Data Breach at Marriott
Marriott is one of the most famous brands of hotels, with 7,300 hotels that are located all over the globe. It houses important businessmen, politicians, and celebrities. Marriott became a target of cyber-attacks and data breaches in 2020. It has been under the radar for quite some while, and it was the second attack on this chain of luxury hotels in two years.
- In 2020, hackers got into the company’s database by illegally obtaining the login credentials of Marriott employees. Personal details of more than 5.2 million guests of the hotel were stolen. These details included confidential information such as names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, social security numbers, etc. Personal information of high-profile guests is sold to interested bidders. It is also used for keeping tabs on government officials and tracking the movements of businessmen and celebrities.
Credential Stuffing at Zoom
Credential stuffing is a form of cyberattack in which hackers first obtain login credentials of genuine users and then use the compromised credentials to breach into a system. Zoom suffered from a major credential stuffing attack in 2020. The log-in credentials for 100,000 zoom users were obtained, and they were put up on the dark web forum for sale.
- Due to the restrictions of maintaining social distancing, Zoom emerged as one of the most popular video and audio conferencing platforms. It experienced a 355% increase in revenue during the second quarter of 2020. Its popularity among important businesses and financial gains has attracted significant attention from hackers.
The cybersecurity for this video and audio conferencing was not foolproof, which allowed hackers to gain access to the login credentials of users. Along with that, the zoom codes for meetings were easily guessable, which lead to the infringement of unauthorized personnel in zoom meetings.
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