The Biggest Phishing Attacks of the Last Decade
Phishing attempts often target the average U.S. citizen, but huge companies have also fallen prey to these attacks — and the names on this list may shock you!
According to analysts, around 85% of American companies have been targeted by phishing attempts. The popularity of phishing attacks among hackers is largely due to its simplicity. Much of the time, a hacker only needs one trusting employee to open a phishing email and its infected attachment — and they’ll have successfully breached the entire company’s data! It’s that easy. To keep yourself safe from phishing attempts at work and at home, you should use our Anti-Hacking feature. Click here to stay safe online:
With hackers’ methods growing in stealth, precision, and finesse, there have been many devastating security breaches throughout the last 10 years. Listed in chronological order, here are some of the decade’s worst phishing attacks.
Operation Phish Phry (2009)
Back in 2009, Operation Phish Phry was the biggest international phishing case that the FBI had ever witnessed. Nearly 100 people in the USA and Egypt were arrested for stealing $1.5 million through phishing scams. The hackers’ methods were rooted in bank fraud, and they successfully targeted hundreds of online users.
Irony took a cruel twist when hackers attacked RSA, a security firm, in March 2011. Turns out, the company’s Adobe Flash had been left unpatched and it fell victim to a spear phishing. Through this breach, the hackers were able to access the networks for U.S. defense suppliers.
Sony Pictures (2014)
2014’s notorious Sony Pictures breach was caused by a tirade of phishing emails. Through social engineering, the hackers convinced employees to open their infected attachments, since the recipients honestly believed a company colleague sent them. From this attack, over 100 terabytes of Sony’s data was stolen, which cost the company an estimated $100 million — and maybe even more!
Back in February 2015, hackers invaded Anthem’s servers and took upwards of 80 million medical records, including files belonging to the Blue Cross and Blue Shield. Their attack was successful because five employees opened a phishing email and unknowingly downloaded a keystroke-logging malware. Reportedly, when sold on the Black Market, stolen health records are worth ten times more than a credit card theft.