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The Biggest Hack Attacks on Computer Over the Last Five Years

Do you know that cyber criminals and state-sponsored hackers do their attacks all over the globe every minute of every single day? While these attacks are usually curbed by network defenses, there are still times when they do succeed and once this happens, it affects the cyberworld in a huge way.

What’s alarming though is that the success of hackers penetrating networks has increased in regularity. With them being able to gain access to info on millions of people worldwide (email addresses, passwords and credit card numbers), the chances of having some of your personal data in their hands are quite high.

Here’s a look at some of the most controversial computer hacks that have happened in the past 5 years starting with the most recent.

1. US Office of Personnel Management (June 2015)

The Biggest Hack Attacks on Computer Over the Last Five Years

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Affected people: 22 million

Stolen information: Social security numbers as well as other personal details of US government employees, both current and former.

How this happened: The suspects of the attack were from the Chinese government who were able to access login data with the help of an employee from a 3rd party government contractor.

What happened after: Led to the resignation of OPM Director Katherine Archuleta and suspension of background by the agency until further notice.

2. Anthem (Feb 2015)

Affected people: 88 million

Stolen information: Employment information, social security numbers and other personal data that is maintained by USA’s second largest health insurer. However, they were not able to obtain medical data.

How this happened: The speculation of authorities is that intrusion already started months earlier. Perpetration was done by hackers sponsored by the Chinese government, who are also suspects of the network breakage of the US government’s Office of Personnel Management and United Airlines.

What happened after: Anthem gave free credit monitoring services to those affected.

3. Home Depot (Sept 2014)

The Biggest Hack Attacks on Computer over the Last Five Years

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Affected people: 109 million

Stolen Information: Over 53 million email addresses and 56 million credit and debit cards of shoppers of the $80 billion home improvement chain

How this happened: Attackers employed the use of the login data of a vendor to gain access to the the company’s network and install malware on the self-checkout systems of the retailer. This, in turn, gave hackers sensitive data of customers with credit cards from both the US and Canada.

What happened next: An estimated amount of $62 million was spent to clean up the breach cost. Home Depot likewise gave free credit monitoring service to all customers who paid via payment card after April 2014.

4. JP Morgan Chase (July 2014)

Affected people: 83 million

Stolen Information: Names, residence addresses and contact numbers of account holders from the $2.6 trillion gigantic financial services company.

How it happened: Hackers were able to penetrate the network through the credentials of an employee, as reported by the New York Times.

What happened next: Authorities placed four suspected accomplices under arrest.

5. Target (January 2014)

The Biggest Hack Attacks on Computer Over the Last Five Years

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Affected people: 110 million

Stolen Information: 70 million email addresses and 40 million credit and debit card numbers

How it happened: Bloomberg reported that attackers gained access to the network via an HVAC contractor’s credentials.

What happened next: CEO Gregg Steinhafel was coerced into resigning after six months due to the breach. By March of 2015, Target succeeded in settling a class-action lawsuit by paying $10 million dollars’ worth of damages to people who had their credit and debit cards stolen.

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