In 2022, the threat of cyber-attacks, hacks, and security breaches loomed large, with numerous high-profile incidents impacting companies and individuals alike. The year saw a range of cyber security threats, from data breaches and phishing schemes to DDoS attacks. Both in terms of cybersecurity and business generally, the past couple of years have been anything but typical. The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally altered how commerce is conducted. Cybercriminals have responded by adapting their strategies to the new environment.
While the years 2020 and 2021 saw a particularly high number of cyberattacks, there are few signs that things will return to “normal” in 2022. Cyber threat actors have tested new strategies and techniques and have successfully incorporated them into their standard toolkits. As the effects of cyberattacks were felt well beyond their intended target companies in 2021, a number of cyberattack operations and cyber threat actors rose to prominence. As cybercrime becomes more professionalized and cyber threat actors seek to maximize the value or impact of their attacks, the modern threat environment is made up of bigger, flashier, and higher-impact strikes.
Here are the top ten hacks and threats of 2022:
- Hackers Steal $32 Million in Cryptocurrency from Bitfinex Exchange
- Twitter Confirms Data Breach Affecting 5.4 Million Accounts
- Suspected Grand Theft Auto 6 Hacker Arrested by UK Police
- Breach of Cash App Data
- Marriott International Data Breach Affects Up to 500 million Guests
- Binance Cryptocurrency Exchange Suffers Data Breach
- Meta Fires Employees for Allegedly Hacking into User Accounts
- Dropbox Experiences Data Breach Following Phishing Attack
- Google Blocks “Largest Ever” DDoS Attack
- Kaspersky Antivirus Added to US Security Risk List
1. Hackers Steal $32 Million in Cryptocurrency from Bitfinex Exchange
In June 2022, hackers successfully stole $32 million worth of cryptocurrency from the popular exchange, Bitfinex. The hack was executed through a phishing attack that targeted the exchange’s employees, tricking them into giving the hackers access to the company’s systems and the cryptocurrency. This is a way always to remember the importance of employee education on spotting and avoiding phishing attacks and the need for strong passwords and two-factor authentication.
2. Twitter Confirms Data Breach Affecting 5.4 Million Accounts
On July 27, 2022, witnessed a hacker going by the alias “devil” claiming to be selling the personal details of 5.4 million Twitter accounts. The hacker stated that they had accessed this information through a previously reported vulnerability on the social media platform.
Twitter confirmed the data breach on August 5 and encouraged users to enable two-factor authentication in order to protect their accounts from unauthorized access. This incident serves as a reminder to address vulnerabilities and take precautions to protect personal accounts as soon as possible.
3. Suspected Grand Theft Auto 6 Hacker Arrested by UK Police
In October, UK police arrested a suspect in connection with a hack on Rockstar Games’ servers, in which information about the upcoming Grand Theft Auto 6 game was stolen. The hacker, using the alias “T0xic,” claimed to have accessed the game’s source code and was selling it online. This incident demonstrates the potential consequences of hacking and the need for robust security measures.
4. Breach of Cash App Data
The well-known mobile payment service Cash App experienced a serious data breach in April 2022 that affected over 8.2 million current and previous users. Block, a Fintech behemoth and the financial services provider behind Cash App, filed a report with the U.S. Securities on Monday, April 4th, in reaction to the compromise of customer data from their Investment Services.
The hacker downloaded reports containing customers’ full names, portfolio values, stock trading information, and brokerage account numbers—which are distinct ID numbers associated with Cash App Investing customers’ stock activity. Important personally identifiable information, such as DOB, SSN, and addresses, were not stolen.
5. Marriott International Data Breach Affects Up to 500 Million Guests
In November, Marriott International announced that a data breach had affected the reservation system of its Starwood Hotels & Resorts brand, potentially compromising the personal data of up to 500 million guests. This data included names, addresses, passport numbers, and payment card information. Marriott worked with law enforcement and cybersecurity experts to investigate the breach and protect affected guests. For companies to regularly review and update their security measures and the importance of quickly responding to data breaches.
6. Binance Cryptocurrency Exchange Suffers Data Breach
In May, hackers accessed the personal data of some customers of the cryptocurrency exchange, Binance. The hackers obtained a large amount of user data, including names, email addresses, and hashed passwords, but no financial data was compromised. Binance worked with law enforcement to investigate the breach and protect affected users. This highlights the importance of strong passwords and robust security measures.
7. Meta Fires Employees for Allegedly Hacking into User Accounts
In a shocking turn of events, tech giant Meta has reportedly fired or disciplined a dozen of its employees for allegedly hacking into user accounts and violating Facebook’s terms of service. According to reports, some of the employees, who were being contracted to work as security guards at Meta, used a heavily regulated internal access tool called “OOps” to reset access to Facebook accounts.
One employee was even accused of using OOps to allow hackers to fraudulently gain access to multiple Facebook accounts in exchange for Bitcoin. This scandal serves as a reminder of the importance of upholding ethical standards and the potential consequences of violating them.
8. Dropbox Experiences Data Breach Following Phishing Attack
Dropbox suffered a data breach in October after a phishing attack targeted the company’s employees. The attack saw a malicious actor pose as code integration and delivery platform CircleCI in order to obtain login credentials and authentication codes from employees. As a result of the attack, 130 of Dropbox’s source code repositories were affected, and the hacker was able to access some of the code stored on the platform, including API keys used by developers. Educating employees on how to recognize and avoid phishing attacks.
9. Google Blocks “Largest Ever” DDoS Attack
On June 1, Google successfully thwarted what has been deemed the largest distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack ever recorded. The attack, which targeted a Google Cloud Armor user with HTTPS, reached a peak of 46 million requests per second and lasted for 69 minutes. It was carried out from a staggering 5,256 source IPs located in 132 countries and was 76% larger than the previous record-holding attack. How best to keep abreast of the scale and destructive power of DDoS attacks and the importance of having strong defenses in place to protect against them.
10. Kaspersky Antivirus Added to US Security Risk List
The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) have recently updated their list of foreign information technology companies that are considered to be a threat to national security. This has sparked extensive debate.. The latest additions to the list include Kaspersky Antivirus, a digital security company, as well as China Mobile International and China Telecom Corp, both of which are Chinese-owned.
FCC commissioner Brendan Carr stated that these companies were added to the list in order to protect US networks from the potential threat of espionage and harm to American interests by state-backed entities from China and Russia. This decision has highlighted the potential for geopolitical tensions to impact cyber security and the need to consider the consequences of such actions carefully.
Finally, it was a year of mayhem in the digital world as 2022 saw a spate of high-profile hacks and cyber security threats. From data breaches and phishing scams to DDoS attacks and malware, companies and individuals alike were targeted by a range of cyber threats. It’s clear that vigilance is key in protecting against these types of attacks, and staying informed about the latest threats is crucial. To stay safe, it’s important to implement robust security measures, educate employees on how to spot and avoid dangers, and regularly review and update security practices. Don’t let the hackers win – stay proactive in safeguarding your digital assets.