What the hack happened in 2017?

Cybersecurity got a lot of public attention this year mostly thanks to some very notable breaches that impacted not just individuals and corporations, but also governments (subsequently affecting infrastructure and defense)!

In 2017, we saw an array of ransomware, malware, data breaches and leaks galore. Some of these you will have no doubt heard about, but there were many that flew under the mainstream radar. Here is a list highlighting some of the most notable cybersecurity attacks from this year, in our “12 days of hacking, what my blackhat gave to me” … come on, tis’ the season for holiday puns!

1) Equifax: the credit reporting agency Equifax had a major data breach that allowed hackers to obtain upwards of 145 million of their customers’ personal data, including social security numbers, dates of birth and home addresses.

2) WannaCry: a ransomware cryptoworm encrypted data on approximately 230,000 computers running on Microsoft Windows in over 150 countries, demanding ransom payments in the Bitcoin cryptocurrency. The US and UK governments have stated that North Korea was to blame for these attacks.

3) US National Security Agency (NSA): a virtual disk image owned by a division of the NSA, containing over 100 gigabytes of data from an Army intelligence project, codenamed "Red Disk," was leaked revealing a surveillance program pointed at domestic interests named “Ragtime” that targeted Americans.

4) US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA): WikiLeaks gained access to sensitive “classified” and “top secret” documents, detailing the agency’s intentions to hack into iPhones and Android devices, as well as smart TVs.

5) Cloudbleed: Tavis Ormandy from Google’s Project Zero discovered and reported a security problem with Cloudflare’s edge servers. He was seeing corrupted web pages being returned by some HTTP requests run through Cloudflare, resulting in customer data leaks from Uber, 1Password, Tinder, and online dating site OKCupid, among others.

6) Sabre Systems: a reservation software company, had over 32,0000 of their hotels and other lodging establishments hacked for access to their payment and customer data tied to bookings processed through a reservations system. Other major companies that had data stolen by the breach include Google, Hard Rock Hotels, and Loews.

7) School’s Out: A hacker identified as Rasputin breached and leaked data from several universities and government agencies, including NYU, Oxford, Cambridge, and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration using SQL injection.

8) NotPetya/Petya/Nyetya/Goldeneye: A computer virus referred to as NotPetya targeted Ukrainian businesses using compromised tax software affecting major global businesses, such as FedEx, but hitting Ukrainian infrastructure particularly hard. It disrupted utilities like power companies, airports, public transit, and the central bank; just the latest in a series of cyber assaults against the country.

9) Bad Rabbit: Most of us know pop-ups should not be trusted, but a major ransomware campaign, referred to as Bad Rabbit, managed to sneak into computers through an Adobe Flash installer. It was placed on compromised news and media websites. This ransomware mostly affected Russia, but experts saw also saw cases in Ukraine, Turkey and Germany.

10) Virgin Airlines: After Alaska Airlines acquired Virgin America, an unknown hacker broke into Virgin America's corporate network compromising 3,120 employees and contractors logins, while 110 additional employees may have had personal information stolen.

11) Uber: It came to light this year that hackers infiltrated Uber and were able to steal data from 58 million of Uber’s customers. Uber responded by forking out $10 million to pay off the hackers and try to cover it all up.

12) GOP Voters: Almost 200 million voter records were exposed online after a GOP data firm misconfigured a security setting in its Amazon cloud storage service. This became an alarming pattern for breaches stemming from insecure Amazon servers where data is stored. Other companies whose data was also exposed and leaked on Amazon servers include Verizon, Accenture, Viacom, and the U.S. Department of Defense.

Tinfoil Security genuinely believes there are more good folks out there vs. bad, so we have hope and look forward to bringing joy to the world of cybersecurity in 2018 and beyond!


Neda Blocho

With a background in running the world's top accelerator program out of Stanford University and a tour as a seed stage investor in Silicon Valley, Neda has seen first hand the great need for solving issues around cyber security! Neda makes sure the world knows how much better and safer their DevOps lives can be by partnering with Tinfoil.