August is gone, and here we are with the list of the most noticeable cyber attacks occurred during the second half of the month (first part here).
This period will be probably remembered for the massive cyber attack against Community Health Systems (4.5 million records compromised), the wave of coordinated attacks targeting JPMorgan Chase and at least four other US banks, the malware targeting 51 franchised stores of UPS, and, last but not least, the mother of all breaches in Korea (220 million records containing personal information 0f 27 million people). Another noticeable event was also the coordinated DDoS attacks against Sony Entertainment Network, Xbox Live and other online gaming services.
For what concerns cyber espionage, chronicles report, among other things, the massive coordinated cyber attack against 50 Norwegian oil and energy companies, the discovery of three cyber attacks (within the past three years) against the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and the theft of classified information from the Malaysian agencies involved in the MH370 investigation.
Instead, nothing particularly meaningful has been reported for hacktivism: many sparse actions (mostly against direct or indirect interests of Israel) of limited impact and hence without particular consequences.
If you want to have an idea of how fragile our electronic identity is inside the cyberspace, have a look at the timelines of the main Cyber Attacks in 2011, 2012, 2013 and now 2014 (regularly updated). You may also want to have a look at the Cyber Attack Statistics, and follow @paulsparrows on Twitter for the latest updates.
Also, feel free to submit remarkable incidents that in your opinion deserve to be included in the timelines (and charts).
During Summer we always try to spend our free time in a more profitable manner, for instance reading gossip chronicles.
From this point of view, July 2012 has not been a particularly lucky month for Carly Rae Jepsen. On July the 7th, her website has been the target of a DDoS attack by a member of the infamous collective @TheWikiBoat. During the second half of July, she has joined the (not so) exclusive club of celebrities who had compromising pictures and video stolen from their computers and mobile devices. This is not an isolated episode since celebrities have shown an insane predilection to make (possibly) XXX photos and store them with few or no precautions at all. With the consequence that it is not so uncommon that the private material gets stolen with the purpose to blackmail the victims or simply to sell it.
Unfortunately the experience has shown that, almost always, both ideas end up in a miserable failure and the photos get usually leaked, causing fans to run to their search engines in the hunt for the private snaps.
Honestly speaking, I do not understand how it feels to take photos of oneself in compromising positions (but I am not a celebrity, at least so far). For sure, if I were a celebrity I would be aware of my level of exposition and its consequent capability to attract the unwelcome attentions of stalkers (and addicted hackers). That level of exposition, alone, justifies the need to pay more attention for private material, most of all if it contains XXX shots. But maybe celebrities have not time for complex passwords…
To let you understand how often these events occur, I browsed the chronicles of the last years compiling the following gallery. Even if most of the leaks came from the so-called hacker ring targeting more than 50 celebrities, you will find many surprising (sometimes recurring) victims, before coming to the disappointing conclusion that “the leopard does not change his spots”.
I am afraid that this chart will soon need an update.