The holiday decorations had barely been returned to the attic when 2016 already saw its first high-profile cyber attack. Time Warner Cable said on Jan. 6 that up to 320,000 customers may have had their email passwords stolen. The information likely was gathered through malware downloaded during phishing attacks or indirectly through attacks against other companies that store TWC subscriber information, the company said.
Here we go again. The world is coming off another banner year for hackers. Notable attacks in 2015 included the U.S. Office of Personnel Management server breach that compromised sensitive personal information of about 21.5 million people; the theft of information from tens of millions of Anthem Inc. customers (considered among the largest data breaches in corporate history); the stealing of personal data including Social Security numbers and completed tax returns of 330,000 people from the IRS; and the infamous Ashley Madison hacking that provided grist for the tabloids and late-night TV comedians for weeks.
Everyone still cringes over 2014's big attacks: The theft of data including names, mailing addresses, phone numbers and email addresses from more than 70 million Target shoppers and the credit card information of 40 million shoppers. Home Depot's admission that 56 million accounts had been put at risk after hackers infiltrated the retailer's systems. J.P. Morgan, Staples, Healthcare.gov, Neiman Marcus... the list of victims goes on and on.
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