I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: we cannot escape technology. Technology has infested our everyday lives. And because of that technology, we have put a large amount of our personal information out in the open, without us fully realizing it. From online purchases to banking, our credit card and social security numbers, dates of birth and just about everything else are all out in the open, waiting to be taken. And unfortunately, malicious hackers have taken advantage. There have been dozens of online hacks on companies which have put millions of users’ information at risk before, but there are two in particular that I feel are exceptionally bad.
Playstation Network Outage
Video games are a multibillion dollar industry, with billions playing around the world. And Playstation, one of the world’s most popular gaming consoles, has a very popular online gaming community called the Playstation Network. In this community, subscribers can play video games and speak with each other and purchase video games or movies through the online store, which requires a credit card. And in 2011, hackers breached the Playstation Network, bringing the platform to its knees. The attack resulted in the access of 77 million subscribers’ personal information by hackers. Sony, the parent company of Playstation, was forced to shut down the service for a total of 23 days. In that time, they restructured the infrastructure and made the network safe to use again. In response, Sony executives publicly apologized during a press conference by bowing their heads in shame. At the time, it was one of the worst online hacks in history.
Yahoo! Account Breach
Speaking of the worst security breaches in history, Yahoo! has the unfortunate pleasure of laying claim to this record. An incredibly recent event, Yahoo!, the popular tech company, admitted to the breach of over 1 billion users’ accounts. What made the case so extraordinary was the fact that Yahoo! had been attacked twice within two years. The first hack occurred in 2013, which compromised the initial 1 billion accounts; the second hack took place a year later, adding an additional 500 million breached accounts. It is by far the worst data breach of any company on record. What makes matters worse is that Yahoo! only recently disclosed the security attack, in September of 2016. Although the news made headlines, it did not necessarily damage the company’s image.