One of the biggest news stories in the latter stages of 2014 was the Sony Pictures hacking scandal. The story focused around the Sony Pictures movie ‘The Interview’, with United States federal government officials alleging that North Korea had planned and carried out the attack owing to what is perceived to be material critical of the Korean government in the film.
Experts have since cast some doubt on this assessment, but what is certain is that the issue underlined the fact that even really big companies can be subject to hacking.
If this was not already apparent then the DDoS attacks on the Sony PlayStation Network and Xbox Live video gaming systems which took place over the Christmas period made the situation even clearer. While this is not technically an incidence of hacking, it nonetheless further demonstrated that huge corporations can be vulnerable to nefarious activity.
Of course, this is by no means the first time that a major organisation has been subjected to hacking; indeed, there are numerous previous examples. In 2012, the security and virus-related company McAfee revealed that ‘Operation Shady RAT’ had targeted the United States government, numerous defence contractors and several major technology firms over a period of several years. McAfee believes that a national entity was behind these attacks.
Another major example of hacking was the 2007 attack on American firm TJX, which was rather ingeniously launched from an insecure Wi-Fi network in one of the company’s TJ Maxx shops. This led to over 45 million people having their credit card details stolen, although some estimates have placed this figure closer to 100 million.
A similar successful attack took place in 2009, when Hartland payment systems was attacked by a group led by hacker Alberto Gonzalez. This group represented arguably the most successful cyber criminals in history, and Gonzales was later implicated in the attack on TJ Maxx.
Another notable company targeted by hackers was Epsilon. In 2011, the company was forced to concede that it had been successfully targeted by hackers. Epsilon is the world’s largest email marketing firm, and handles around 110 million e-mails per day from 2000 prominent brands dotted all over the planet, and it is thought that the scale of this particular hack is unequalled.
So even the biggest companies in the world can have problems with hackers. But there are things you can do to protect yourself. Firstly, being extremely diligent at all times and keeping abreast of any potentially suspicious e-mails and websites that are doing the rounds is always a sensible policy.
Secondly, strong safeguards within IT infrastructure based around firewalls, virus protection software and spam filters are essential.
And finally, companies would always be well advised to have a robust disaster recovery plan in place should the worst occur at any time.
Technetics are renowned experts at protecting clients from any form of IT attack, and our dedicated team is well accustomed to working with businesses of all sizes. Call us today on 1300 853 453, and we can begin the process of helping you secure your network and company’s future.