The biggest hacks, leaks and data breaches occurred in 2017

  • By Megha
  • Published on 21 February 2018

The year 2017 has seen a massive number of Cyberattacks. From the hacks, attacks, ransoms and other cyber threats, millions of data were stolen and a wealth of classified tools was leaked. As 2017 comes to a close, the major news coverage seems to have daily stories about the number of data breaches.

Let’s have a look at the biggest and most dangerous cyber hacks and leaks of this year. The most of the egregious attacks are as follows:

Shadow Brokers

The Shadow Brokers is a hacker group who appeared around August 2016, declared to leak the hacking tools from the National Security Agency (NSA). These exploit and vulnerabilities targeted Enterprise firewall, antivirus software and Microsoft products. In April 2017 they made biggest impact including a Windows exploit known as EternalBlue, which they have used to infect targets in two high-profile ransomware attacks.


The WannaCry Ransomware attack began on May 12th, 2017 and within a day spread across 230,000 computers in 150 countries. It was the massive attack of ransomware, targeted computers running Microsoft windows operating system. They used two NSA leaked tools that created havoc in banks, airport, universities, hospitals and many other facilities. It was built to encrypt data and demand ransom payment in the bitcoin cryptocurrency.


Petya encrypting ransomware was first discovered in 2016 which propagated via email attachment. The variant of Petya was seen in June 2017, used for global cyberattack. This has been the more massive ransomware attack than WannaCry. The major victims of this ransomware attack were the organizations in Europe and the US. This malicious software has infected many large firms like the US pharmaceutical company Merck, Danish shipping company Maersk, and Russian oil giant Rosnoft.

The Equifax Breach

In September 2017, the Equifax, consumer credit reporting agency, announced themselves as a victim of cyber security breach which they claimed to have occurred in mid-May and July 2017. Around 144 million American consumer’s sensitive data were exposed in the this data breach which includes their names, social security numbers, birth date, addresses and even driving license number. They also declared around 209,000 consumer’s credit card number were also exposed. Not only America, but the citizens of the UK and Canada were impacted in this data breach.

Bad Rabbit

In October the mass attacks with ransomware was observed, known as Bad Rabbit. Once the machine is attacked by ransomware, it uses to scan the network for shared folders with common names and then attempted to steal user credentials to get on other computers. It mostly affected Russia, but some infections were found in Ukraine, Germany and Turkey too.

Looking ahead, the number of high-profile international breaches occurred in 2017 has become a wake up call for the year 2018. Prediction says the attacks on the internet will keep hitting whether it is a laptop or a robotic manufacturing arm. It is necessary for any industry to take security measures against cybercrime. Organizations must establish a framework and a security plan that embraces zero trust model for security.

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