There are an increasing number of cyber attacks occurring in our data driven world. Today, more than ever, we have to be award of the frequency, types and risks of these attacks. As an IT user, you should be careful about safe guarding your data with cyber security. By reading about the following attacks, you can be a more responsible digital citizen, protecting yourself from similar situations.
Major Sports Attacks
Baseball may be a time-honored American pastime, but that has not stopped some of the sport’s inner circle from perpetrating a hacking cyberattack. Between 2012 and 2014, employees of the St. Louis Cardinals organization allegedly made unauthorized incursions into the Houston Astros’ digital information systems to glean scouting and other information. Cybersecurity experts remarked that this purported hack was far less sophisticated than successfully turning a 6-4-3 double play, but it apparently did mark a leak of valuable information from one competing franchise to another.
A cyberattack between professional sports teams is noteworthy because it is so far out of the hacking mainstream. At least four more cyberattacks are equally noteworthy for their far-fetched provenance.
Several cybersecurity experts and law enforcement authorities have warned of the risks of car hacking, and two researchers have verified that warning. Those researchers demonstrated how they could gain control of a Jeep travelling at highway speeds to disable its radio, air conditioner, and windshield wipers. In the ultimate display of control, they also disabled the vehicle’s transmission and brakes. The simulated attack required the researchers to rewrite the firmware in the Jeep’s electronic control system, but to the extent that they were able to do so, it is not outside the realm of possibility for malicious hackers to do the same thing.
Exploitation of IoT Devices
As the Internet of Things (“IoT”) wave reaches a crescendo, hackers have discovered that the “Zigbee” protocol that controls many of those devices can be hacked. Researchers have demonstrated how cyberthieves can compromise smart home IoT security devices to open and close locks, change thermostat and lighting controls, and appliance settings. Early adopters of smart home technology need to be aware of the security flaw in the protocol that allows this hacking.
On the lighter side, and perhaps as a demonstration that national intelligence services have an institutional sense of humor, in 2011 the British “MI6” service co-opted a radical preacher’s online platform and replaced his pipe-bomb manufacturing instructions with cupcake recipes. Of course, nothing about pipe bombs or terrorist radicalization is ever entertaining, but this episode does show that governments and their agencies are joining the hacking ranks.
Compromised Road Signs
Electronic road signs have long been targets for disgruntled highway department employees looking to take potshots at their employers. While not a major form of cyber terrorism, a hacker raised the bar in 2014 when he changed a San Francisco road sign to warn motorists of a Godzilla attack. There is no evidence of the number of drivers who took the sign seriously, or if Rodan was also involved in the attack.
Journalists know that unusual stories, like these, are far more likely to make the evening news than run-of-the-mill stories about cyberattacks that have victimized businesses and caused losses of data and personal customer information. Yet all businesses are far more susceptible to traditional cyberattacks that can result in serious business interruptions and ruinous financial losses than they are to the far-fetched attacks that make headlines.
When a hacking attack does breach a company’s cyberdefenses, cyber security insurance can protect the company from long-term financial problems. A 2015 study placed the average cost of a small business cyberattack at $38,000. A larger and more established company might be able to absorb this magnitude of a loss, but few smaller businesses have comparable resources. In that case, cyber security insurance may be the only thing between successfully recovering from a cyberattack and a business failure.
Image from http://www.diplomaticourier.com/2016/11/07/implications-cyber-attacks-governments/