While cyber attacks have intensified in recent years, it’s not necessarily a new concern. Here’s a list of significant cyber attacks that took place each year from 2007 to present.
2007. In June of 2007, the Pentagon announced a U.S. Defense Department computer system was hacked, presumably by the Chinese government. The computer system was considered noncritical, yet the computers were taken offline for roughly three weeks.
2008. Three major global oil companies were the targets of cyber attacks alleged to have stemmed from China in the summer of 2008. The attacks targeted what is known as “bid data,” which reveals information behind locations of global oil discoveries. The oil companies did not know of the attacks until they were alerted by the FBI in late 2008 and 2009.
2009. A well-known hacker referred to as “The Analyzer” pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud following an attack that allowed him to steal $10 million from two U.S. banks. The plea by Ehud Tenenbaum, an Israeli, came after more than 10 years of known hacking activity. In 1998, he was arrested for a hacking operation that compromised Pentagon computers. Tenenbaum was not extradited to the U.S. for the incident and instead served six months of community service in his home country while working as an IT security consultant, according to WIRED Magazine.
2010. Emails obtained through a cyber security company working on behalf of Morgan Stanley revealed the bank was subject to an extensive network security breach. The emails indicated the data breach was considered by the bank to be a secret. The attack, which took place in June of 2009, was considered to be among the roughly 20 high-profile corporate attacks carried out by Chinese hackers.
2011. Small- and medium-sized businesses were the target of an elaborate hacking scheme in 2011. The operation targeted banking credentials through email phishing campaigns aimed at employees with the authority to transfer company funds. The hackers “stored” transfers in “intermediary banks” in the U.S. before transferring to banks in China’s Heilongjiang Province. Losses were reported at $11 million.
2012. U.S. pipeline companies were the target of hacking operations in 2012. The cyber attacks honed in on a targeted group of employees at major U.S. gas companies, which prompted an investigation by the Department of Homeland Security. Hackers used sophisticated email phishing campaigns to lure company employees to download malicious software in a link or attachment.
2013. Major U.S. news sites, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg News and Washington Post, were the target of cyber attacks allegedly stemming from China. According to the New York Times, security experts indicated that prominent U.S. news sites have been targeted by Chinese hackers since 2008 for the purpose of monitoring coverage on China.
2014. eBay made headlines in May when it announced it had been the victim of cyber attacks that compromised the user names, email addresses, passwords, phone numbers and birth dates of eBay users. eBay customers were urged to change passwords, but were told by the company that all stolen information was encrypted.