The Top 10 Craziest Cyber Security Breaches of 2017

Stolen credit card numbers, ransomware annoyances, and password breaches have become commonplace in recent times. As long as we continue relying on the internet to perform our routine activities and store vast amounts of data, we’re all vulnerable to cyber security breaches.  While security issues aren’t anything new, cyber security breaches took a turn for the serious in 2017. Here’s a recap of the top 10 craziest cyber security breaches of 2017:


10. Equifax – Personal Data Theft

The hack at Equifax was the mother of all hacks of 2017, and is considered to be among the worst cyber security breaches of all time. This is due to the huge amount of sensitive data exposed. The personal data (including social security numbers) of 145 million people was stolen. The breach affected Americans (the vast majority), Canadians and UK residents.


9. Verizon – Subscribers’ Records Exposed

An exposé by an Israel-based company revealed that customer records of about 14 million Verizon subscribers were exposed. The exposed customer records belonged to Verizon subscribers that had called customer service in the last 6 months. The records contained personal information including official names, account PINs, and phone numbers.

8. NSA – Government Tools Leaked

An anonymous group dubbed Shadow Brokers leaked a set of government hacking tools belonging to the National Security Agency. The hacking tools enabled hackers to jeopardize a variety of Windows operating systems (including Windows 8 and Windows 7) and Windows servers.


7. WannaCry – Ransomware

This security breach spanned over 150 countries and hit over 300,000 machines across numerous industries, including health care and auto companies. WannaCry leveraged a number of the NSA tools, with the hackers behind the ransomware demanding money to unlock files.

6. NotPetya

Also known by other names including Petya, Nyetya and Goldeneve. NotPetya is a ransomware that hit targets worldwide. It infected networks in several companies across the world, including Rosnoft, Merck, and Maersk. It also hit Ukrainian infrastructure, disrupting utilities such as airports, public transit, power companies and the central bank.

5. Cloudflare – Customer Data Leak

This networking giant’s servers became vulnerable, resulting in the unintentional leak of sensitive customer data. The sensitive information, was cached by search engines such as Google and Bing, included text chats from popular messaging sites, private messages from dating sites, hotel bookings, and password manager data.

cyber security breaches

4. CIA – Wikileaks’ Vault 7 Exposé

WikiLeaks exposed a data trove that contained almost 9,000 documents stolen from the Central Intelligence Agency. The data trove contained detailed documentation of supposed hacking tools and spying operations. Revelations included bugs in windows, capability to turn certain smart televisions into listening devices, and Android and iOS vulnerabilities.

3. HBO – Data Theft

A Ukrainian hacker stole about 1.5 terabytes of data belonging to HBO. The stolen data included management emails, draft scripts of an episode of Game of Thrones that was yet to be aired, and forthcoming episodes for various popular HBO shows.


2. Deep Root Analytics – Voter Records Exposed

A researcher named Chris Vickery announced his discovery of a publicly accessible database that contained about 198 million voter records. The records contained personal information of US voters, possibly going back over 10 years. This cyber security breach was however not as a result of a malicious attack, but it was due to misconfiguration.

1. TSA – Leaked Documents

This is a cyber security breach that revealed laxity at an international airport, Stewart. Crucial documents regarding TSA’s activities at the airport were leaked from a backup drive without a password.

Dan Mitchell President & Solution Architect at Rack Simply
Dan Mitchell

President & Solution Architect at Rack Simply

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