The Ten Most Spectacular Cyber Attacks of 2010
As the internet becomes a primary source for everything from news and entertainment to commerce and business, it makes sense that groups and hackers would be busier than ever. Websites are far more vulnerable to attack than, for example, television stations and hackers of all types relish the thought of taking them down.
According to 4chan, Tea Party folks think cocaine is a helluva drug.
In some cases, it's a matter of cyber retribution for a perceived injustice. Others want to steal information while still others just want to see if they can do it. Whatever the case, 2010 has been a banner year for those who want to take down websites. From Gawker to Visa, virtually no one is safe. Here are our ten most spectacular cyber attacks of 2010.
10. Gene Simmons
Technically, Gene Simmons, the man, wasn't hacked, but GeneSimmons.com and SimmonsRecords.com were shut down after comments he made in an interview about illegal file trading of music. "Be litigious. Sue everybody. Take their homes, their cars," the KISS bassist said 24 hours before his websites were downed by the hacker vigilante campaign Operation Payback. Given Simmons' giant ego, we doubt this will be last time he says something stupid and gets hacked as a result.
9. Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and Recording Inudstry of America (RIAA)
There is one basic rule of the internet that should always be obeyed: don't fuck with 4chan. The popular internet site is "home" to a group that calls themselves "Anonymous" who execute attacks on websites via the "Operation Payback" campaign mentioned above. The group takes it very personally when you do something to offend them, whether it be throwing puppies in a river or going after a popular BitTorrent website like Pirate Bay. The retaliation for the latter came in the form of a DDoS attack on both the MPAA and RIAA websites keeping them offline for nearly a full day. Bottom line, 4chan is like a hornets nest filled with angry nerds. Don't poke at it and you won't get stung.
8. Pirate Bay
Argentinian hacker Ch Russo cracked the administrative section of the popular file trading website and managed to delete files and expose user information. Russo claimed he was trying to demonstrate how vulnerable the information was. Point taken. There was a rumor that Russo planned to sell the user information to a third party, perhaps even groups like the RIAA or MPAA, who would certainly like to have it, but Russo denied the report, which is fortunate for him, because God only knows what 4chan would have done to him.
In still more 4chan-related news, they really don't like Justin Bieber. Not only did they manage to push "Justin Bieber Syphilis" to the top of Google Trends, but in July, they hacked YouTube posting pop-up windows on video pages and, for Bieber, re-directing his video pages to porn or malware websites.
If back in March you wondered why a bunch of your friends on Twitter thought you were fat, it wasn't because of your pudgy midsection. Hundreds of Twitter accounts were hacked and links to weight loss websites were posted in their feeds. In May, hackers hit Twitter again dropping celebrity follow lists to zero and forcing them to follow people they didn't request, which was more funny than tragic.