Countdown of the 5 scariest cyberattacks

man in black hoodie walking on street during night time

Cyberattacks are the one thing that companies should be most worried about right now. Malware, hacking, MitM attacks, DDoS attacks, and SQL leaks are just some of the horrible things that can happen during cyberattacks. Because of hacking risks, businesses are using IT support services to keep their important systems and data safe. If you need an IT Support company don’t worry there are many trustworthy companies out there. Let’s look at five of the scariest hacks that people can remember in order to really understand what happens when you don’t take cybersecurity seriously.

Equifax in 2017

Between May and July 2017, a huge amount of data was stolen from the American credit company Equifax. A little more than 147 million Americans, 15 million Britons, and 19,000 Canadians had their private records stolen. This is one of the biggest identity theft cybercrimes. Some of the personal data that was sent was very private, like names, dates of birth, social security numbers, driver’s licence numbers, and phone numbers. As you might expect, the major breach had a huge effect on both the agency and its clients, who were heartbroken when they found out that private and sensitive information about them was public.

A lot of people said that Equifax’s protection wasn’t good after the hack. The hackers got to the private information by using the company’s US online case web site application. This was possible because of a security hole that hadn’t been fixed on an Apache Struts server, which the company had been told about for months. A lot of cases were sent to the company in the days after the breach was made public. Equifax settled to a $575 million deal in 2019, but it is said that the real costs of cleaning up are closer to $1.4 billion. This event shows that putting safety first really does pay off!

The NotPetya virus in 2017

In June 2017, the NotPetya virus did a lot of damage to computers all over the world. The fact that NotPetya looked like ransomware made it even worse because people were tricked into getting and running it. But unlike most malware, users couldn’t get their data back, which stopped businesses from running for weeks.

The attack started in Ukraine and hurt companies all over the world. A popular tax software in the country called M.E.Doc got an update that let the malware grow. The malware then spread all over the world. The effects were terrible; global companies like Maersk, Merck, and TNT Express reported major problems. It is estimated that NotPetya caused around $10 billion in damage. The NotPetya attack was a sharp warning of how weak digital systems can be. It showed how important it is to keep software up to date and have strong security measures in place.

WannaCry – 2017

It’s clear that 2017 was a terrible year for hacking. WannaCry was a type of ransomware that attacked computers running Microsoft Windows in May 2017. It encrypted user data and demanded Bitcoin as payment. It used Eternal Blue, a tool made by the US National Security Agency that was leaked to a group called The Shadow Brokers a month before the attack. Even though Microsoft released security fixes ahead of time, many companies didn’t update their systems because they were using old versions of Windows or didn’t realise how important and urgent the patch was.

It was said that the bad code had attacked more than 230,000 computers in more than 150 countries in just one day. WannaCry had an effect on many large businesses, such as the NHS, Renault, FedEx, and the Bank of China. WannaCry stopped spreading thankfully when a hacker found a “kill switch” in the code. This stopped the danger from spreading. The event made it clear to businesses how important it is to keep strict safety steps in place.

Yahoo in 2014

Yahoo had a huge data breach in 2014 that touched more than 3 billion user accounts. One of the most shocking things about this event is that Yahoo told the public about the breach almost two years after the data had been read. They didn’t find out how bad the breach really was until 20127. Names, dates of birth, email addresses, hashed passwords, phone numbers, and both encrypted and open security questions and answers were taken from users. Even more terrible was the fact that the breach wasn’t found until years after it happened.

You may be thinking how the breach happened. A spear-phishing attack on Yahoo workers in 2014 was the first step in the hack. It’s not clear how many emails were sent or how many workers were targeted, but all it took was one person clicking on a link to start a chain of events. Yahoo suffered terrible damage from the hack. Verizon Communications took $350 million off of Yahoo’s purchase price because of the breach, which also did a lot of damage to the company’s image. The Yahoo data hack shows how important it is to teach employees about security more than anything else.

Stuxnet in 2010

In 2010, a bad computer virus called Stuxnet caused a lot of damage in Iran. This hack is the most shocking because it wasn’t aimed at money or information, but at real-world damage. Stuxnet mostly went after Iran’s nuclear sites, which changed cyberwar forever. The worm was made to take advantage of several zero-day flaws in the Windows operating system, which means that no official fix or security update has been released for them.

About 900 of Iran’s nuclear centrifuges were destroyed by Stuxnet. This slowed down the country’s nuclear programme for many months. The harmful worm showed how important it is to have strict security measures for important systems, but that’s not all. It also showed how terrible cyberwar can be, since it’s hard to figure out where these kinds of threats come from.


Every time technology gets better, it also makes things more vulnerable. Some of the most damaging hacks we’ve looked at so far, like big data breaches and malware attacks, show how bad security practices can be. These shocking events show how important it is to be cautious about hacking and always be on guard, since new threats are always appearing ready to do unimaginable damage. These events are a sharp warning to both companies and people that strong protection is not a nice-to-have, it’s a must.