Ten Biggest Hacking Exploits in Twenty-Five Years

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Headlines

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In the wake of the recent WikiLeaks and Gawker episodes, Brian Ries of The Daily Beast has compiled a list of the the 10 most destructive attacks of the last 25 years.

From data theft to DDoS, infectious worms to million dollar scams, Ries has assembled a pretty darn good survey of the best of the worst cyber miscreants have had to offer:

10. June, 1990: Kevin Poulsen Vs. KISS-FM: A teenage telephone hacker—a phreak—when he hacked the phone lines to be the 102nd winning caller on Los Angeles-area radio station KIIS-FM's "Win a Porsche By Friday" contest...

9. February 2002: Adrian Lamo Vs. The New York Times: "The Homeless Hacker"—was better known for hacking into the servers of companies like the New York Times from Kinko's shops and Starbucks cafes...

8. January 2008: Anonymous Vs. Scientology: In Anonymous’s big “coming out party,” the now infamous group of loosely-connected “hacktivist” computer users targeted the Church of Scientology in an operation dubbed “Project Chanology" to “save people from Scientology by reversing the brainwashing"...

7. February, 2000: Mafiaboy Vs. Yahoo, CNN, eBay, Dell, & Amazon: The first major distributed-denial of service attack (DDoS) responsible for crippling some of the internet's most popular websites was executed by the hands of a Canadian citizen not old enough to drive. "Mafiaboy," a.k.a. 15-year-old Michael Calce...

6. November 2008: Unknown Vs. Microsoft Windows (& the World): Starting in late-2008, the Conficker worm exploited vulnerabilities in a number of Microsoft operating systems. Once it takes over an infected machine, it links unwilling computers together into a massive botnet...

5. August, 1999: Jonathan James Vs. U.S. Department of Defense: One of history’s all-time most infamous computer hackers who, in 1999, broke into military computers at the Defense Threat Reduction Agency and intercepted thousands of confidential messages, log-in information, and $1.7 million software...

4. August, 2009: Russia Vs. Georgian blogger “Cyxymu”: Social networking sites with hundreds of millions of users crawled to a halt for hours during the summer of 2009 as DDoS attackers operating from within Russia—it was alleged—sought to silence Georgian blogger “Cyxymu"...

3. March 1999: David L. Smith Vs. Microsoft Word & Excel: A New Jersey-resident gave a stripper in Florida the ultimate gift: a computer virus that bared her name. "Melissa" performed viral lap dances on upwards of one million infected PC’s and caused $80 million dollars in damage...

2. July, 2009: Unknown Vs. United States & South Korea:
For three days the web sites of South Korean’s largest daily newspaper, a large-scale online auction house, a bank, the country’s president, the White House, the Pentagon and U.S. Forces Korea—to name a few—came under DDoS attack as upwards of 166,000 computers in a botnet...

1. November, 1988: Robert Tappan Morris Vs. The World: In 1988, while enrolled as a graduate student at Cornell University, Morris designed a self-replicating worm and gave it a mission: go out to determine the size of the internet. It backfired, replicating itself beyond control as it infected thousands of computers...

Source:  http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-12-11/hackers-10-most-famous-attacks-worms-and-ddos-takedowns

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