Five biggest information security hacks that have shaken up the world

We read about them non-stop: information security hacks that happen to an organisation or a government institution where important data, information and other records are stolen by hackers. Data breaches can result in thousands (sometimes even millions) of data records being compromised, damaged reputations, loss of revenue and customers’ trust. Needless to say, and we are not discovering America here, information security hacks can happen to EVERYONE; regardless of the size of the organisation.

Here are 5 of the biggest information security breaches in history:

1. PlayStation Network – this year saw a stunning number of infosec hacks on corporate giants. We seriously lost count how many times Sony have got hacked, but the fact is that names, addresses, emails, birth dates, phone numbers and passwords have all been stolen by a hacker group, LulzSec. 70m customer data was stolen and the company lost more than £900m in this rather gigantic security hiccup.

2. CardSystems Solutions – in 2005, MasterCard lost 40 million credit card holders’ details. The unencrypted data had been improperly stored by CardSystems Solutions making the company an easy target of a Trojan virus. Oh dear…

3. TJX – In 2007, TJX (parent company of discount stores, T.J Maxx and Marshalls) had the data of tens of millions credit and debit cards stolen.

4. Heartland Payment Systems – another incident, where credit card records got stolen by hackers, happened to this New Jersey-based credit and debit processing services company. In 2009 the organisation announced that 134m credit card records (including names and credit card numbers) had been compromised as a result of a global hack operation. Malicious software installed on a company’s computer network and a lack of security precautions hugely contributed to this fraud.

5. Acer Europe – Earlier this year the company’s source code and user data of 40,000 people were compromised. Allegedly, Packard Bell customers were the only ones that were affected. Names, addresses, phone numbers and system serial numbers were all stolen by hackers calling themselves the Pakistan Cyber Army.

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