The cyberspace has taken the world by storm with its many applications. One of these many applications is the capacity of the internet to store vast levels of confidential data. Hackers are often lured by the price of this data. These are the same people that give us the chance to open our ears to some of the most prolific data-hacks in history. One common thing about all these cybercrime is a single person stealing data from the servers of giant institutions. Here are the top five data hacks that have the loudest noises in the past decade.
Here’s the list of the top 5 Cybercrimes of all time!
1. CradersMarket Creation by Max Vision
The story dates back to 2006 when Max Vision used to be a former computer security researcher. It was in the same time when he turned himself into a professional black hat hacker. He measured and scaled the computer underground and found several vulnerabilities in it. In a hack-fest that he conducted from his house in San Francisco, “Iceman” eyed the online carder forums. These were the forums that conducted uninterrupted trade of fake IDs, stolen data and other services among fraudsters and hackers.
Once Iceman hacked out all the data from the site, he turned it all inside his own website, CradersMarket. In no time, Craders market became the strongest marketplace for English speaking cybercriminals – the strength being 6000 members. This was enough to catch the attention of federal agents, who had managed to get into some of the sites that Iceman has hacked. A year later, the FBI arrested Max from his hideout. Max “Iceman” Vision now awaits his sentence for stealing numbers of 2 million credit cards.
2. RBS Worldpay Heist
When news about the RBS heist came out in the open, people did not attach much importance to it, the reason bring RBS Worldpay’s proclamation on December that that the fraud had only affected some 100 out of the 1.8 million gift card and payroll accounts. The tides turned when it was out in the open that the fraudsters had raised withdrawal limits on 44 of the 100 accounts to a staggering $500,000. Next, a global cashers’ army slapped intermittent rapid-fire withdrawals from all the accounts.
Consequently, above 130 ATMs of about 50 cities from Atlanta to Moscow were simultaneously hit. The withdrawals started shortly after midnight in Eastern Time on November 8, 2008. The result – the ATMs oozed out $9.5 million of cold cash in one single day! In the same month, the United States carried out indictment of four people, who allegedly were the ringleaders in the heist. These people are now in Moldova, Russia and Estonia. The fate of these people, one would presume, lies tightly sealed.
3. “Get Rich or Die Tryin” Albert Gonzalez
The name Albert Gonzalez has been famously, or rather infamously linked with the above slogan. From 2004 to 2008, Gonzalez and his minions carried out some of the biggest data thefts of recorded history in America and Russia. The team extensively stole the magnetic strip data from some and sold it in the black market. The gang extensively used Wi-Fi hacks and SQL injection and popped up companies like TJX, 7-Eleven, Office Max and Dave & Buster’s. Heartland Payment Systems was the sole contributor of 130 million debit and credit cards.
The offensive converted Gonzalez into an overnight millionaire ($1.1 million were found buried in his parent’s backyard). Aside this, Gonzalez and team were successful in exposing the loop holes measures in the card-securing infrastructure. It is only ironical that Gonzalez was once an informal for the American Secret service. In his plea, he has envisioned a prison term of between 17 and 25 years. Given that a former accomplice of his was sentenced to 30 years in a Turkish prison, the case could be severely wore for Gonzalez.
4. Rise of the Conficker Bot
It can be safe to attribute the title of the most influential black hat innovation to bots. It that is true, Conficker is the biggest and best of the lot. Right from the start, the trouble expectations from the bot were practically huge. But just because the bot did not rip through the internet, like the mainstream press and media had predicted, the bot wasn’t impressive. The bot epitomizes the zenith of encryption and had security researchers in a fix all the while.
During its best days, Conficker had built nests in the upward of 15 million Windows boxes, most of which were located in Brazil and China. Most experts seemed to agree with the notion that the bot was the creation of a highly skilled and organized team of coders. Several people have hinted on the possibility that the team is based out of Ukraine. The profit angle was to sell a fake anti-malware product to affected users for $49.95. Not many bots have matched the Conficker since then.
The Money Mules scam emerged in 2009, and was widely thought to be an innovation stemming out of the erstwhile Soviet Empire. The mechanism in which Money Mules was carried out was simple: specialized Trojan horses like URLZone and Zeus were used to target mostly small businesses. In fact a staggering number of small businesses were targeted during that time. The horses would steal the online banking credentials from these businesses and initiate wire transfers to the tune of several thousand dollars.
Unlike most other hacks, Money Mules was fairly safer on part of the hacker. The Trojan horse would mostly cover up the case by rewriting the bank statements of the victims. On most other occasions the hacker would simply wipe off the drive. This way, they could manage to keep the target off the internet for a while. The stolen money would be sent over to the mules (often recruited through fraudulent work-at-home offers). It was the job of these mules to send the money to the hackers through Moneygram. Often tagged as the perfect cybercrime, the FBI says, this has raked in the upward of $100 million. And that is only a ballpark figure.