Uber’s revelation that 57 million user accounts were hacked last year is the latest in a growing list of recent high profile cyber breaches. But who else has been hit by hackers?
Internet giant Yahoo has been the subject of two major cyber attacks in recent years, one which affected more than 500 million users in late 2014, and a second more damaging attack in 2013 which hit all three billion of its user accounts.
Personal data including names, email addresses and security questions were accessed, with both breaches having been considered the largest discovered in the history of the internet. Yahoo was heavily criticised for its response to the two incidents, both of which were not disclosed until 2016.
US credit report firm Equifax was hacked in the summer of 2017, with more than 140 million consumers affected – including nearly 700,000 UK customers. The breach compromised phone numbers and driving licence numbers as well as some names and email addresses.
In the US, social security numbers were among the details breached, and Equifax warned that those affected by the breach could be at risk of criminal activity, including identity theft. The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority is now investigating the breach and its impact in this country.
In May 2017 the WannaCry ransomware, which locked users out of their computer systems until a Bitcoin ransom was paid, struck businesses in more than 150 countries around the world, including the NHS.
As a result of the attack, which shut down systems at hospitals across the country, ambulances were redirected and many services forced to operate on an emergency only basis. An independent investigation into the attack found that incident could have been prevented if “basic IT security” measures had been taken.
In October 2015, telecoms giant TalkTalk announced that the details of 156,959 customers and 15,656 bank account numbers were accessed during a cyber attack. It said the 28,000 obscured credit and debit card numbers that were taken cannot be used for financial transactions, and were “orphaned”, meaning customers cannot be identified by the stolen data.
The breach saw customers leave the company, costing the telecoms firm £60 million. Earlier this year, the company was also fined £100,000 by the Information Commissioner’s Office over an earlier 2014 data breach. An investigation found the company breached data protection laws after staff from an IT firm working with TalkTalk were able to access some personal data from around 21,000 customers.
Celebrity iCloud accounts
Back in August 2014, hundreds of explicit images of some of Hollywood’s most famous stars were posted to several forum websites anonymously after hackers broke into the iCloud accounts of more than 500 people, predominantly celebrities.
A piece of computer code that repeatedly guessed common passwords is said to have been used in the attack, with experts citing the incident as an example of greater public awareness needed on strong passwords. Some of the celebrities caught up in the breach included Hunger Games actress Jennifer Lawrence, as well as Kate Upton.