In every single month in 2014, the cyber world experienced an attack that would have made the top-three list in any previous year. The numbers were stunning all year long: 56 million hacked at Home Depot, 76 million at JP Morgan Chase. Target, K-Mart, UPS, and the year’s most colorful attack -- Sony Pictures Entertainment -- all got hit.
The Sony Pictures Entertainment hack grabbed so much cyber ink, nobody noticed that the company’s PlayStation network was attacked -- yet again -- in early December, creating a system-wide outage. This month-by-month list is mind-numbing. And we left off the small hacks that only affected a few hundred thousand users.
The fear in the connected world is that these attacks are the equivalent of the USS Cole and the US Embassy attacks in Africa -- small-but-significant indications of the big one that’s on the way. It’s disconcerting to think the hackers remain a step or two ahead of the protection crew.
Click on the image below for a month-by-month, blow-by-blow breakdown of 2014's biggest cyber attacks.
The credit card data of 1.1 million Neiman Marcus customers was swiped. Also in January, Microsoft’s blog was hacked by the “Syrian Electronic Army.” The group also hacked the CNN website, Twitter, and Facebook. The Michaels retail chain confirmed its customer data was hacked.
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Rob Spiegel has covered automation and control for 15 years, 12 of them for Design News. Other topics he has covered include supply chain technology, alternative energy, and cyber security. For 10 years he was owner and publisher of the food magazine, Chile Pepper.