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The biggest recent hack attacks and how to protect yourself

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There is no doubt that as websites and the internet become the drivers of business and commerce, there are some inherent risks which also come along the way. There is the real and big threat of hacking, phishing and other such problems which are well and truly assuming serious propositions.

Equifax

Cybercriminals penetrated Equifax (EFX), one of the largest credit bureaus, in July and stole the personal data of 145 million people. It was considered among the worst breaches of all time because of the amount of sensitive information exposed, including Social Security numbers. The company only revealed the hack two months later. It could have an impact for years because the stolen data could be used for identity theft.

A Yahoo bombshell

Parent company Verizon announced in October that every one of Yahoo’s 3 billion accounts was hacked in 2013 — three times what was first thought. In November, former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer told Congress that the company only found out about the breach in 2016, when it reported that 1 billion accounts were hacked. The company still does not know who was responsible.

WannaCry

WannaCry, which spanned more than 150 countries, leveraged some of the leaked NSA tools. In May, the ransomware targeted businesses running outdated Windows software and locked down computer systems. The hackers behind WannaCry demanded money to unlock files. More than 300,000 machines were hit across numerous industries, including health care and car companies.

There was a human cost: In Britain, hospitals with locked computers were forced to close temporarily.

The WannaCry infections were so bad that, in an unusual move, Microsoft released a patch for Windows systems that it had stopped updating. The cyberattack has been linked to North Korea.

NotPetya

In June, the computer virus NotPetya targeted Ukrainian businesses using compromised tax software. The malware spread to major global businesses, including FedEx, the British advertising agency WPP, the Russian oil and gas giant Rosneft, and the Danish shipping firm Maersk. This virus also spread by leveraging a vulnerability leaked by the Shadow Brokers. In September, FedEx attributed a $300 million loss to the attack. The company’s subsidiary TNT Express had to suspend business.

Bad Rabbit

Another major ransomware campaign, called Bad Rabbit, infiltrated computers by posing as an Adobe Flash installer on news and media websites that hackers had compromised. Once the ransomware infected a machine, it scanned the network for shared folders with common names and attempted to steal user credentials to get on other computers.

An Uber coverup

In 2016, hackers stole the data of 57 million Uber customers, and the company paid them $100,000 to cover it up. The breach wasn’t made public until this November, when it was revealed by new Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi. Now Uber is facing questions from lawmakers. Three senators introduced a bill that could make executives face jail time for knowingly covering up data breaches. City attorneys in Los Angeles and Chicago and the Washington state attorney general are suing Uber over the breach.

It is therefore crucial to find out ways and means by which website owners and ecommerce portals are able to stop and prevent these threats. As technology improves, so are the techniques and ways used by hackers and phishing professionals across the world. One way you can protect yourself online is by using a mobile phone security app.

They are always on the lookout for new ways and means by which they can outsmart the website builders, hosting professionals. Hence, the onus lies on us to prevent and thwart these evil designs. With this objective in mind we are pleased to share below four easy steps by which it is possible to prevent hacking of websites.

The steps mentioned over the next few lines are provided by Websites That Sell, which are time-tested and proven. Further, they can also be easily implemented and could be integrated with the overall architecture and platform of the websites.

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