As our lives become intertwined with the internet more and more, security is becoming a much bigger issue than when the web was a more of a cool novelty in the early 1990s. With all of our data out there, there’s a lot to lose when it comes to breaches and hacks. Here are some of the worst security fails of 2015, and here’s to less of them in 2016!
Jeep: Two security researchers and a journalist purposely hacked a Jeep in a live traffic demo and proved they were able to take control of the vehicle while it was being driven. The scary part was that the controls the hackers were able to maneuver included disabling the brakes or selectively applying the brakes on a single wheel, and even disabling the engine. Scary!
VTech: Unfortunately VTech, a manufacturer of electronic toys, allegedly didn’t think to encrypt passwords or use SSL for the data of their young fans and customers. Thus, the data of about 6.4 million kids reportedly got leaked. The information only includes names, e-mail addresses and mailing addresses, so not social security numbers or financial data, but still a bit worrisome.
US office of Personnel Management: You may have thought the government was safe from hacking but not so. The office that manages all of the millions of government employees got hacked, exposing about 18 million government employees data, including the director of the FBI! No one was safe from this hack which could have put spies’ lives at risk, and exposed the personal information of many, many people.
Anthem: Most people trust their health insurance companies with their personal information and medical data, but Anthem proved that even health insurance companies are vulnerable. They allegedly got hacked and released personal data for 80 million customers, including Anthem’s CEO.
Ashley Madison: We can’t do a round up of security hacks of 2015 without talking about Ashley Madison. The online dating site for those who wanted to step out on a current relationship allegedly got viciously hacked, and not only that but the hackers released all of the information of the customers online. In a way, it was a good thing because the ordeal started some conversations and interesting blog posts about why people cheat online.
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