Cyber Attacks in 2021 that Have Made People Seriously Consider their Digital Security

Digital Security

The downside to more advanced, civilization-propelling antibiotics is that the associated bacteria got stronger too. This further created a rift between the need for antibiotics to be stronger, and the evolutionary drive of bacteria to mutate.

The same is true for cyberattacks, they are kind of like microorganisms. With advanced measures to tighten security, cyberattacks have mutated into more focused and segmented variants too. What are some of the latest cyberattacks that have made people scrutinize the idea of what a truly stable security measure is? Let’s find out.

1.   The Edinburg Practice Scam

Mental health is thankfully entering mainstream spaces, and Edinburg Practice is one such institution that takes merit in providing the said service. Its good intentions did not spare it from the fact that data breaches in healthcare sectors are becoming more and more concerning; and a good example is the phishing scam that happened here.

In early 2021, there was a severe data breach in their servers, wherein personal data – such as personal receipts, were being downloaded and sent to malicious third parties. This probably started as a scam which looked like a regular survey from the institute itself, but the manifestations were rather worrying.

Thankfully, the issue was dealt with very efficiently once it was discovered. The source of the phishing attempt was thought to be improper browsing (or exploring), but with quick fixes like attaining a secure VPN and other measures like ensuring better overall security, this event is not expected to happen again.

2.   The Israel H&M Intrusion

In early May, 2021, there occurred another event related to the rising tensions in Israel. If there was not another reason for internal conflicts in Israel, there is now. A local hacking body called NetWorm claimed responsibility for hacking into the H&M websites in Israel and changing emblems and icons.

While this might sound like an unimportant hacking attempt, there was a lot more damage done. This includes over 9 gigabytes of private data being breached from the company—including invoices, voicemails, worker details, and perhaps even transaction details too.

The motive behind the attack is dubious. While some officials claim it is politically motivated (as the middle-East is generally not welcoming to the idea of western goods), the motive could also be financially pushed.

3.   Lori Lightfoot Losing the Footing of emails

US politics has seen a surge in political down footing and discredit of politicians by scandalous leaks and emails. To add to the list of already prevalent email scams, Lori Lightfoot is the new addition. A plethora of emails were leaked from the mayor’s administration in response to a case of a 13-year-old being shot at.

The reason for uploading such emails on the ‘dark web’ seems to be because of rather elementary security grading in the administration’s systems. Now, if you are an average PC user, a regular antivirus for Windows would suffice. When you’re a mayor—you need tighter security than that.

The situation escalated on when the stances of justice were scrutinized. The administration said that these emails uploaded on the ‘dark web’ are highly manipulated and subject to malice, but the greater aspect here is the dangerous nature of data leaks.

After all, it is pretty terrifying to know that something as personal as emails can be so easily subjected to leaking.

4.   Marietta School email Hack

Yet another case in the endless list of email hacks, the Marietta School’s website seems to have been subjected to the relentless hacking of various malicious bodies. In late May, the Police were informed about not only emails, but precious administrative tools to be hacked from the Marietta School systems online.

The motive behind this is still unclear. Why would someone hack into school tools? Is this an elaborate prank caused by an obnoxiously smart student, or is there more to it than the eye can meet? The police are currently investigating the matter.

5.   The Australian National University Data Massacre

It was revealed on the 5th of June that some precious data was stolen from the Australian National University website. The ANU was victimised by hackers from as early as 2018, but the amount of damage was earnestly estimated in 2021, when it was revealed that about two decades of the said data no longer exists.

This not only includes names, addresses and personal data of the said students, but also valuable research material that was an accurate representation of the endless hours of work that was put behind the said research.

The course of events took a dark turn when apparently a ransom was asked. It was said that failure to provide the said ransom would result in either complete and permanent removal of the said data, or worse—selling for profit over the ‘dark web’.

Where does this leave us?

Data breaches aren’t a joke anymore. The consequences of improper browsing could have rippling effects that might take a toll on your personal life when you least expect it. It is therefore always advisable to practice healthy browsing and refrain from accessing any dubious or malicious websites. Surf safely, surf soundly.