Cyber attacks and data breaches have been on the rise for quite some time now, with a massive 2,200 attacks every single day. And it’s not a pretty picture when it comes to data breaches in 2022 either. In the third quarter of 2022, research shows that the number of data breach victims jumped drastically by a massive 210%.
The Biggest Data Breach of All Time
The sustained attack on Yahoo remains one of the biggest cyber attacks in history, with 3 billion records compromised. River City Media, Aadhaar, and First American Corporation come in a close second, third, and fourth, with millions of records compromised between them.
Sadly, things have not improved much since the Yahoo breach first came to light in 2013.
The Biggest Cyber Attacks and Data Breaches in 2022
Throughout 2022, once again, billions of companies around the world were targeted or became the victim of a cyber-attack. Some of the biggest breaches of the year include:
Cryptocurrency is only getting bigger and bigger, so it’s probably not surprising that crypto exchanges are often one of the biggest targets for hackers and cybercriminals. At the beginning of 2022, popular cryptocurrency exchange Crypto.com was subject to a serious breach. On January 17th, a targeted attack affected the cryptocurrency wallets of almost five hundred users of the exchange. Although the blockchain is known for being quite a secure method of making transactions, the hackers used a fairly simple method to conduct the breach, by circumventing the two-factor authentication on the site. They were able to steal $18m worth of Bitcoin and $15m worth of Ethereum.
As one of the biggest news organisations around the world, News Corp is no stranger to being targeted by cybercriminals and hackers. In February 2022, News Corp broke the news that they had server breaches going back two years. In this data breach, thankfully, there was no sensitive customer data stolen, and the everyday work of the company was not affected. However, News Corp suggested that espionage was the main reason for the attack, after finding evidence that emails had been stolen from journalists working for the company.
At the beginning of 2022, the appointment management business FlexBooker experienced a huge attack that affected around three million of its customers. Hackers stole sensitive and confidential data belonging to customers including driving licenses, ID information, and passwords, before offering them for sale on various popular hacking message boards. As a result of this breach, many powerful and loyal customers ended up choosing to leave FlexBooker. The hack was found to be fairly simple – a hacking group known as Uawrongteam cracked the AWS servers and got control over the firm’s servers with malware.
Cash App is a popular mobile payment tool that allows people to quickly and easily send money to one another as a gift or to pay for goods and services. In April 2022, Cash App acknowledged that the services’ servers had been breached by a former employee. Clearly, the hacker had a serious problem with the business and didn’t hold back when it came to doing as much damage as possible. The hack involved a significant amount of sensitive information belonging to users, including names, account numbers, stock trading information, and portfolio values alongside more. While Block, the owners of Cash App, haven’t yet provided further information on how many people the breach affected, more than eight million customers have been contacted so far to let them know about the incident. Thankfully, the hacker was only able to steal a limited amount of identifiable information, and no account credentials were stolen.
Blockchain gaming platform Ronin is reliant on cryptocurrency, so it’s no surprise that’s up there on the target list for cybercriminals. Between November 2021 and March 2022, the platform was subject to an attack. As the growing popularity of the Axie Infinity game, which enables players to earn NFTs and digital currency, led Ronin to scale back security protocols to allow servers to better handle a growing audience, an attack was carried out. While the scaled-back security measures made it easier for the platform and game to deal with the number of people who wanted to play, the downside was that it let cybercriminals in – and they stole a total of $600m worth of cryptocurrencies.
While the Red Cross is an organisation that most of us couldn’t imagine attacking after all the good work they do and have done in the world, that’s exactly what happened at the beginning of 2022. In January, an attack on a third-party contractor of the Red Cross led to the compromise of more than half a million records, including documents that had been classified as ‘highly vulnerable’ by the Red Cross. Thousands of people, many of whom are currently listed as vulnerable or missing, had their sensitive information stolen.
Cybercrime is on the rise, and no business is safe. While 2022 saw fewer attacks compared to the year before, billions of people have still been affected by data breaches and thefts throughout the year.