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Home Data Security 5 of the Most Famous Cyber Crime Cases of All Time

5 of the Most Famous Cyber Crime Cases of All Time

The internet has its pros and cons, and one of the cons is the risk of becoming the victim of a cyber criminal. Learn about five famous cyber crime cases!

Cyber crime is on the rise in the US, with over 400 million records being hacked annually.

Most of us are aware that we’re also the target of cyber attacks. The number of people who expect that their data will be breached sometime in the near future continues to rise

Just being aware doesn’t mean we’re prepared, though. It’s important to know the history of cyber crimes and what they mean for security today.

These five famous cyber crime cases will give you some perspective on the threats facing us now. Read on to find out about some of the most notorious cyber villains of all time. 

The Morris Worm

This denial of service attack was one of the earliest cyber attacks, and the first prosecuted under newly-created 1986 cyber crime laws. Robert Tappan Morris, son of an NSA cryptographer and a graduate student at Cornell, created and released this malware in 1988. It quickly spread around the nascent internet, causing service interruptions in over 10% of the web.

The worm attacked systems running Unix, and spread much more rapidly than its creator had anticipated. Some institutions that went down included NASA systems and universities, who had to wipe their systems clean in order to recover from the bug. Experts suggest that the damage caused by the worm registered in millions of dollars.

Morris became the first person convicted under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. He later went on to become professor of computer science at MIT, the institute from which he launched his now-infamous worm. 

The Rivolta Project

In 2000, 15-year-old Michael Calce (also known as MafiaBoy) launched a program that targeted Yahoo. At the time, Yahoo was the top search engine online, and some analysts put their loss at $1.2 billion for the 

MafiaBoy then went on to bring down eBay, CNN, and Amazon with the same DDoS attack. He decided to brag about his accomplishments on some chat rooms, coming to the attention of the FBI. Legend has it that he was watching Goodfellas when the Canadian police came knocking on his door. 

Calce today works in computer security. His famous cyber crime case is credited with helping bring awareness of data breaches into the mainstream attention.

The 2002 Internet Attack

For one hour in 2002, a DDoS attack brought down all 13 domain name systems’ root servers. While the time was short, the scale of the attack was breathtaking and debilitating. 

The attack was caught early, but if it had lasted any longer it would bring the whole internet to a standstill. 

Largest Data Breach of All Time

News broke in 2014 that JP Morgan Chase had been the target of a huge data breach. 76 million accounts were compromised just at Chase alone, though the hackers had targeted Citigroup, Dow Jones, and HSBC among other financial institutions. 

Four hackers from an international cyber group were arrested and indicted on the hacking charges.

Even the IRS was Targeted

In 2015, hackers used a part of the IRS website to gain access to more than 700,000 records. They were able to see social security numbers, dates of birth, and more sensitive personal data of hundreds of thousands of taxpayers.

The hackers were never caught, and their crime remains one of the largest data breaches of all time.

Famous Cyber Crime Cases Lurk Ahead

These five famous cyber crime cases are just a small taste of the number of breaches and data hacks that will take place in the future.

Don’t let yourself be a victim of the next cyber attack! Check out our resources and training, and sign up for our newsletter to keep up-to-date on internet security news.

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