Cyber Attacks 2019: A Round-up
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Cyber Attacks 2019: A Round-up

Cyber Attacks 2019: A Round-up

From phishing to malware to ransomware, the cyber security landscape in 2019 was punctuated with attacks that got more and more sophisticated as the months went by

  • A teenage Fortnite player discovered a bug that allowed him to force other iPhones to answer a FaceTime call
  • The city of Del Rio in Texas was forced to revert to pen and paper systems after a ransomware disabled their servers
  • Millions of users were hit by Facebook’s sloppy password storage management system, where account credentials were stored in plaintext

2019 was a busy year for hackers-the huge volumes of data generated by companies made it easy to spot vulnerabilities and access sensitive information. From phishing to malware to ransomware, the cyber security landscape in 2019 was punctuated with attacks that got more and more sophisticated as the months went by.   Nothing was spared-right from medical records to corporate emails to sensitive enterprise data-everything was laid bare. We bring you a round-up of some of the most significant global data breaches/cyber attacks of the year:

Read: Cybersecurity strategy: the quest for visibility & hunting

Apple Face Time

In January, a teenage Fortnite player discovered a bug that allowed him to force other iPhones to answer a FaceTime call, even if the other person doesn't respond. Following this, Apple disabled the "Group FaceTime" feature, but not before users expressed shock at the flaw in an Apple device known for its security.

Del Rio Ransomware

The city of Del Rio in Texas was forced to revert to pen and paper systems after a ransomware disabled their servers. Officials then turned to social media, using Facebook to inform the public about the attack and informing them of alternative payment modes.

VFEmail attack

Email provider VFEmail suffered a major cyber attack in which hackers destroyed all of the data on its main and backup systems. In fact, the attack attacker formatted all the disks on every server, as a result of which every virtual machine was lost and every file and every backup server was also lost.  

Facebook, Facebook Lite and Instagram

Millions of users were hit by Facebook’s sloppy password storage management system, where account credentials were stored in plaintext. The unencrypted passwords were found during "a routine security review in January" on Facebook's internal network data storage. 

Evite

Evite, the online invitations company, admitted that hackers accessed a data storage file in which user data was sold as part of a wider activity in the Dark Web.

Read:Year 2020 to pose significant challenges for cybersecurity: Palo Alto

Canva

Australian tech unicorn Canva was targeted by hackers called GnosticPlayers, who stole records belonging to 139 million users including customer usernames, real names, emails, and city and country information where available.

Burger King

Hackers comprised information of over 40,000 customer records for Kool King Shop, specifically designed for kids.

Banks in South Asia

Major banks in Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, and Kyrgyzstan banks were hit by hackers who deployed a malicious code named Silence Malware on the bank’s network, to access accounts and manipulate cash withdrawals from the bank’s ATMs

One Plus

Smartphone vendor One Plus suffered a data breach where attackers stole customer names, phone numbers, email addresses, and shipping addresses.

Read: Despite increase in cybersecurity spending, breaches increased in 2019

Disney+ 

The content streaming service of Disney + was compromised just hours after it launched, and hackers put them up for sale on the dark web.

According to IBM's latest annual Cost of a Data Breach study, data breaches costs up to $3.92 million when aspects like account notification costs, expenses associated with investigation, damage control, repairs, as well as regulatory fines and lawsuits are taken into consideration. In fact, costs have increased by 12% over the past five years.

Author
Anita Joseph

Anita Joseph is a Business Editor at MediaQuest Corp. A journalist for over 14 years, she has written stories on business, lifestyle, trends and technology. An avid reader and photographer, she loves the little stories that make a big impact.

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