2021 was another record-breaking year for leaks, hacks, and dark web data dumps. Hackers were extremely active in exploiting the weak points of Internet users and companies, with the attacks ranging from private individuals to hospitals and entire municipalities.
In 2021, thousands of new cybersecurity incidents have been recorded — and while cryptocurrency theft and data loss are now commonplace, this year stands out due to several high-profile incidents involving ransomware, supply chain attacks, and the exploitation of critical vulnerabilities.
From the enormous number of data breaches and hacking attacks that happened in 2021.
According to IBM, the average cost of a data breach has now reached over $4 million, while Mimecast estimates that the average ransomware demand levied against US companies is well over $6 million. The world record for the largest payout, made by an insurance company this year, now stands at $40 million.
Among the biggest global breaches, here comes the tech giant Facebook, whose users’ data was found on hacking forums in early 2021. The leak included full names, phone numbers, emails, location information, and more. In total, 533 million users were impacted.
Following an alleged hack in December, cryptocurrency exchange Livecoin slammed its doors shut and exited the market in January. The Russian trading post claimed that threat actors were able to break in and tamper with cryptocurrency exchange rate values, leading to irreparable financial damage.
Moreover, in 2021 a company Experian was linked to the exposure of data from 220 million Brazilians. The breach, uncovered by the security company PSafe, resulted in large quantities of personal information being sold on the dark web.
Tether faced an extortion demand from cyber attackers who threatened to leak documents online that would “harm the Bitcoin ecosystem.” The demand, of approximately $24 million or 500 Bitcoin (BTC), was met with deaf ears as the blockchain organization refused to pay.
CNA Financial: CNA Financial employees were left unable to access corporate resources and were locked out following a ransomware attack which also involved the theft of company data. The company reportedly paid a $40 million ransom.
Also, Equifax and security firm Comparitech announced in September that they’d found a giant online database of stolen data. The database included information on more than 100 million travelers, including their names, travel dates, and passport numbers.
T-Mobile experienced a yet-another data breach in August. According to reports, the names, addresses, Social Security numbers, driver’s licenses, IMEI and IMSI numbers, and ID information of customers were compromised. It is possible that approximately 50 million existing and prospective customers were impacted. A 21-year-old took responsibility for the hack and claimed to have stolen roughly 106GB of data from the telecoms giant.
Coinbase sent out a letter to roughly 6,000 users after detecting a “third-party campaign to gain unauthorized access to the accounts of Coinbase customers and move customer funds off the Coinbase platform.” The cryptocurrency was taken without permission from some user accounts.
Robinhood disclosed a data breach impacting roughly five million users of the trading app. Email addresses, names, phone numbers, and more were accessed via a customer support system.
Finally, Syniverse, a company that plays a key role in the infrastructure of many huge telecom groups (including T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon), in September 2021 admitted that hackers had access to their networks for potentially several years. More than 500 million records were lost, affecting millions of cellphone users worldwide.