While there are many common scenarios of breaches that include classic database thefts, ransomware, phishing or DoS, some hackers provide exceptional originality. Their imaginary can astonish you. Here is the list of top-10 most unusual cyberattacks of 2017.
What would you do for a friendship? As for Konrads Voits, he attempted to shorten the term of imprisonment of his inmate. This Michigan man heads our list of top unusual attacks as he modified his records stored in the Washtenaw County Jail computer system. He used different techniques to make jail employees install the malware. Finally, he achieved it by posing as two of actual jail workers during the telephone calls and asking to click certain deleterious links. The modification was detected right after that. Voits had to plead guilty and now is condemned to ten years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
Sometimes, to get the money, hackers have to bring blackmailing to the next level. If a common theft of a hotel database seems trivial, you can always block the electronic card system so that all the guests would stay out of their rooms. Such incident took place at Austrian Romantik Seehotel Jägerwirt hotel. An email demanding a ransom of about $1,800 followed the blocking. The sum had to be paid, and, for the future security, the owner claimed to consider bringing back the traditional old-fashioned key locks system in the rooms.
3. White theft
One of the upcoming trends in the financial sphere is incidents touching cryptocurrency. It could have been one of the first and most massive crypto thefts amounting to over $31,000,000 worth of ether. The breach was performed on the Ethereum network’ Parity wallet. The losses could have even been multiplied if the group of benign white hackers hadn’t received the alerting. Having detected the used vulnerability, Ethereum community hackers stole the remaining $150,000,000 from all the accessible wallets before the previous attacker managed to get away with the money.
4. Smells fishy
If you intended to halt the Internet connection, how would you do it? One of the most unusual cyberattacks was against the American university’s network. As the result of an attack, about 5,000 internet-connected objects started to search for seafood. It caused almost the total internet connection standstill over the campus. Due to the Internet of Things (IoT) malware that guessed the default password of all the devices, vending machines and even lamp posts started to make strange requests.
Another crime-related incident took place in Australia when the Victoria Police officers had to interrupt the case of two suspected robbers. During the pursuit, police officers confronted pirate radio transmissions when an unknown voice posed as a police officer. The chase was forced to stop, though police arrested two suspected later. The hack was supposedly intentional.
Pirates are not the same anymore, nowadays they get along without parrots and… hack shipping companies. Recently, a group of pirates managed to break into the system of a shipping conglomerate to get the information on the cargo. As usual, they boarded the ships, but this time they had specific information about the vessels. Still, it seems that the malefactors were pirates, but not hackers on the first place leaving a bunch of blunderings that would help trace the actors’ future activity and prevent that kind of events in the future. It was not the only time this year when shipping companies suffered from unusual cyberattacks; one of the shipping leaders Maersk also had it system affected by a ransomware that caused certain issues.
A disturbing incident happened in Dallas when a hacker broke into emergency warning sirens network in the middle of the night. 156 alarms were going on for more than two hours creating a panic in the awoken city. The residents were informed not to call 911 due to the fact that there was no emergency situation as dangerous weather conditions. However, the phone line of the rescue service was reloaded during all the time until the alarm was switched off.
When it comes to juvenile products, sometimes, modern technologies, instead of facilitating parents’ and kids’ lives, can put them under security risks, as it happened in case of the CloudPets attack. The smart teddy bears’ breach affected more than 800,000 user accounts. It means that all the personal audio recordings, which toy owners made, could have been compromised in order to get the future ransom. Currently, the databases are safe and not publically approachable, still, the CloudPets representative are not wary to inform their customers about the security breach.
Sometimes, if it is not possible to hack something directly, an attacker has to surf for a work around. If it is not possible to break into the casino system, why not perform unusual cyberattacks with the help of an internet connected aquarium controller, huh? A suspicious traffic appeared when the device had already sneaked out more than 10 gigabytes of data. Maybe, the next time the owners will decide on the regular “not smart” aquarium. If their fish don’t need the internet connection at least.
Just imagine the reaction of the Californian television viewers that wanted to start a day with a favorite morning TV show and instead… they saw an emergency alert video followed by a message “Realize this, extremely violent times will come.” The strange voice was warning people about the upcoming end of the world. As it was cleared up later, the audio was from a conspiracy-theory-themed radio show Coast to Coast AM that was popular back in the late 90s. The broadcast disruption lasted only a couple of minutes leaving Americans frightened and confused.
Now, after reviewing the most unusual cyberattacks, you can hopefully see that inventiveness of the malefactors can be striking. If they keep this up in 2018, probably, the “extremely violent times” will really be not far off for the cybersecurity.