Technology experts, SMS Passcode, who authenticate users through their mobiles using multi-factor authentication, gives its rundown on what it believes to be the top ten global hacks of 2015.
- US Office of Personnel Management. Believed to be one of the biggest breaches in US government systems, alleged Chinese hackers made off with addresses, health, and financial details of 19.7 million people who had been subjected to government background checks and 1.8 million others.
- FBI portal breach. A portal used to share information by the police and FBI on intelligence and suspects was hacked in November, making it the biggest law enforcement hack this year. Data on suspects was stolen by the same people who hacked CIA director John Brennan’s email account earlier in the year.
- Ashley Madison. Hackers identified weaknesses in password encryption, stealing personal information, including credit card details, from the infamous infidelity dating site.
- Talk Talk. Who can forget in October when teenage hackers stole details of over 20,000 customers? Although they were quickly identified and dealt with, Talk Talk have been left with a bill of up to £35 million and facing lawsuits from customers and investors.
- US Health insurer Anthem. As healthcare data has become the most valuable for re-sale, October saw Chinese hackers learn more about how medical coverage is set up in the US.
- Carphone Warehouse. Nearly 2.5 million customers were victim in August with almost 90,000 having encrypted credit card information stolen. The attack is still under investigation by the industry watchdog.
- Multiple US financial institutions and media companies. At least nine banks and other financial institutions, including JP Morgan, were targeted by hackers who found out systems that helped them make money from illegal activities. Three men were later prosecuted.
- Vodaphone. 2000 customers had personal and financial details stolen in October by hackers who used a list of log-ins from and unknown source.
- Samsung Electronics. In March, Samsung’s subsidiary, LoopPay, a rival to ApplePay, were hacked for several months although no data is believed to have been taken.
- Hilton Worldwide. POS terminals were infiltrated giving hackers access to credit card information, enabling hackers to use their accounts to buy online.
Torben Anderson, CCO of SMS PASSCODE said, “This escalation in cyber attacks is only set to get worse. As hackers exploit weak or stolen passwords in more than 75% of security breaches and simply log in as normal users to avoid detection, having multi-factor authentication in place is a vital way to step up security.”