The 10 Biggest Computer Hacks of All Time

10. Google – Operation Aurora

Really Google? You? The company that is one of the stalwarts in the technology field? The place where employees can take cat naps during the day and have an amazing food court to choose from? Yes. Google got hacked, in a very ironic twist, in 2009. Operation Aurora was a series of cyberattacks based out of Beijing China. “Aurora” was part of the file path on the attacker’s machine. The goal was to infiltrate high tech, security and defense contractor companies through Google’s systems. Google was very tight-lipped about what went down. Perhaps a little egg on the face?
10. Google – Operation Aurora

9. Target – Debit and Credit Cards Targeted

40 million credit cards became compromised when discount retailer Target’s systems were hacked in 2013. The worst part is that this occurred during the heaviest shopping time of the year, the three weeks including and proceeding Black Friday. It is believed that their sale machines were hacked. Merry F’n Christmas.
9. Target – Debit and Credit Cards Targeted

8. Playstation Network Hack – Online Gaming at its Best!

In 2011, Sony learned that hacking isn’t just restricted to computers and the Internet. The Playstation network service was infiltrated and resulted in the loss of data from nearly 77 million user accounts. Sony was forced to take the entire network down for 20 days to regroup at a cost of a staggering 171 million dollars! Hackers were able to gain personal information on gamers as well as credit card information.
8. Playstation Network Hack – Online Gaming at its Best!

7. U.S. Government Breached – Defense or Offense?

Nearly 20 million current and former U.S. federal employees’ personnel information was stolen in the biggest breach of the U.S. government’s computer networks in the nation’s history. The Office of Personnel Management was the target of what is believed to be Chinese hackers. Data from nearly every U.S. government agency was stolen. The attack left the United States scratching their heads following the embarrassment.
7. U.S. Government Breached – Defense or Offense?

6. Ashley Madison – Shhh

Ah. Ashley Madison.  In July 2015, we learned that hackers stole mountains of data from Ashley Madison. The fall-out from this is going to be absolutely epic. First, the site itself promotes extramarital affairs. The whole idea of Ashley Madison is that if you’re a married guy (or girl), we can get you laid with a stranger. They even have a money back guarantee on it!
6. Ashley Madison – Shhh

5. Albert Gonzalez – Master Hacker

Albert Gonzalez executed one of the most massive identity thefts of all time. From 2005 to 2007, Gonzalez and his crew used SQL injections to steal 170 million ATM and credit card numbers from major retailers like TJ Maxx, DSW and Dave and Busters. The numbers were then sold at auctions, netting Gonzalez’s crew a ton of dough. Like all criminals, he eventually got caught. In 2010, Gonzalez went to court and despite claiming he was an undercover agent (maybe court isn’t the best place to drop that bomb, homie), he was laughed out to the tune of a 20-year prison sentence.
5. Albert Gonzalez – Master Hacker

4. Microsoft Word – The Melissa Virus

You have to give credit where credit is due. Any hack that occurred in 1999 gets some serious props. The Melissa Virus was the brainchild of a New Jersey programmer who was a little too bored at work. David L. Smith created the Microsoft Word virus which spread through people’s emails, automatically forwarding itself to the first 50 names found in an infected computer’s address book. (Finally! This is where it pays to have a last name of X, Y or Z). Posing as a regular Microsoft word file on your desktop, the virus astonishingly made its way through nearly 20% of the computers all around the world. Microsoft and Intel were forced to shut down outgoing emails until they got a handle on the situation. Smith received a sentence of 10 years but only served 20 months in jail.
4. Microsoft Word – The Melissa Virus

3. Stuxnet Hack  – Iran’s Nuclear Program Targeted

The United States and Israel initiated one of the most sophisticated cyber attacks of all time in 2010. (The only surprise is that we know about it). Known as Stuxnet, the malicious software was a worm designed to specifically target Iran’s uranium enrichment facilities. The worm disrupted the operations like a smart bomb, attacking Siemens Industrial Controllers, which operated some of Iran’s nuclear power plants’ centrifuges. It caused the centrifuges to spin at uneven speeds. I’m no scientist, but this sounds very dangerous.
3. Stuxnet Hack  – Iran’s Nuclear Program Targeted

2. TJ Maxx and Marshalls – 2 For 1

Department stores TJ Maxx and Marshalls got hit simultaneously, twice as worse than Target. However, this was back in 2006 and instead of just 40 million credit cards getting compromised, they were hacked at an epic scale: 94 million domestic and international accounts containing credit card, debit card and check information were stolen. This is just one of the reasons I don’t have credit cards with retailers.
2. TJ Maxx and Marshalls – 2 For 1

1. Sony Entertainment Hacked – Sony: Part Two

It’s as if Sony has a target on their back. On November 24, 2014, Sony Pictures Entertainment was spread open like a carcass on an autopsy table. Neither is pretty and thousands of communications, including emails and information about Sony employees was stolen.
1. Sony Entertainment Hacked – Sony: Part Two