Figures on cybersecurity incidents are steadily increasing. Globally, in the last year there have been 350% more ransomware attacks (about 74.15 billion dollars in losses). We are increasingly connected (to more devices, more apps, more messaging systems), so cybercriminals find more and more ‘open doors’.

In the recent history of the Internet there have been some very high profile cases related to cybercrime. Even by investing heavily in online security systems, few companies have escaped this scourge.

Sony Pictures

In 2014 a group of hackers managed to get a large part of their database and filtered through the Internet a multitude of information, from internal company documents, such as the CEO’s payroll or workers’ personal information, to several movies that had not yet been released on the billboard. After lengthy investigations, the FBI accused North Korea of being responsible for the cyber attack. The losses were estimated at more than $200 million.

Ashley Madison

This dating platform for married people suffered a major setback in 2015. A group of hackers – ‘The Impact Team’ – exposed on the internet the personal and financial data of the company’s more than 37 million clients. From their names and surnames – some of them well known – to their most intimate sexual fantasies. It cost him more than 30 million dollars.

PlayStation Network

This ‘hacking’ took place in 2011 and was quite a drama for users: 77 million accounts were offline for almost a month. A huge security breach that leaked data such as names, passwords, emails, addresses, bank information and purchase history. Sony confirmed that the attack had cost it around 100 million euros.


It was a very media case because it affected Hollywood celebrities like Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Kim Kardashian or Kirsten Duns. In 2014, a cybercriminal stole intimate photos from the actresses’ phones and posted them on the web. Using social engineering, the hacker tricked the victims into accessing their passwords and thus stealing the compromised images.


Some 300 million users were affected by the cyber attack on Yahoo in 2013. The stolen data included passwords and personal information, but no bank information, and the author was never identified. A year later, in 2014, a new ‘hacker’ – which could have been  a foreign government – stole private information from 500 million accounts. Yahoo did not admit the attacks until 2016 and had to pay 50 million dollars to damaged users.

Tesco Bank

Hackers stole £2.26m in 48 hours from the British supermarket chain’s banking subsidiary in 2016. Tesco Bank reported that it had detected “suspicious transactions” in nearly 40,000 bank accounts, from which approximately half of its balance had been withdrawn. The bank was fined £16.4 million for failing to adequately protect its customers.


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