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2011 Cyber Attacks (and Cyber Costs) Timeline (Updated)

June 28, 2011 6 comments

Update: Cyber Attacks Timeline Update for July 2011

As already suggested, I considered the original 2011 Cyber Attacks Timeline graph by Thomson Reuters not enough complete since it did not show some important attacks occurred during this tremendous 2011. This is the reason why I decided to draw an enhanced version which shows, according to my personal opinion (and metric),  the list of 2011 major  cyber attacks both for size and impact. Moreover in this version I added the cost of the breaches (where possible), and the alleged kind of attack perpetrated.

All the data were taken from the bulletins or statements released by the victims, or from the tweets released by the attackers.

Costs were calculated, where possible, using the indications from the Ponemon’s insitute: the average cost of a Data Breach is US $214 for each compromised record, if the targeted company decided to respond immediately the cost is around UD $268 for each compromised record, which drops to US $ 174 if the company takes longer to react.

The Total Cost is an incredible number: nearly US $ 18 billion.

Useless to say, Sony achieves rank #1 with US $ 13.4 billion. In this unenviable chart, Epsilon gains the second place with an estimated cost for its breach, of US $ 4 billion.

The others breaches, although not comparable with the previous ones, if summed, allow to achieve the grand total.

Even if smaller in size, and apparently in importance, I decided to insert in the chart also the attack to Comodo Certificates, happened in March, the 24th. In this annus horribilis, it came immediately after the RSA affaire and it has decreed, together with the RSA breach, the fall of the modern bastions of Strong Authentication (in few days tokens and certificates have proved to be vulnerable). Moreover I consider the message of the author a memorable declaration of Cyberwar. On the trail of the RSA breach the wave of attacks towards US contractors is noteworthy as well.

Hackers focused on Media Sites (Fox, PBS, Sony, Sony BMG), with a clear message against censorship (and probably the neverending problem of copyright). Interesting the second attack to PBS made to show the poor skill of LuzSecs by Warv0x, one of their enemies. In the last part of June Videogame industry was the preferred target (also Epic suffered a breach) with different intentions: LulzSec attacked Nintendo and Bethesda (the second attack resulted in data breach for the victim), but offered to avenge Sega (the manufacturer of Dreamcast), after the disastrous breach.

Direct attacks to governments focused essentially on LOIC based DDoS, albeit some infamous breaches to related sites (as in case of Infoguard/FBI and NATO) lead to Data Breaches.

Last but not least, please notice the intense activity from LulzSec in their intense “50 days of living dangerously”, just before the sudden dissolution of the group happened on June, the 25th.

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