Cybercrime can come in many forms, from typical phishing emails to wacky and unusual pranks. In this blog post, we’ll dive into some of the most peculiar and intriguing hacking and phishing stories from the past, shedding light on the creativity of cybercriminals and reminding ourselves to think outside the box when it comes to security.
The Great Emu War Hack
In 2020, a group of hackers targeted a government agency in Australia and defaced their website with a message that declared war on emus. The group claimed to be the “Emu Liberation Front” and demanded the government address what they saw as a growing emu menace. While this occurrence was more of a prank than a serious threat, it gained significant attention in the media.
The Twitter Bitcoin Scam
In July 2020, a major cybersecurity incident unfolded when several high-profile Twitter accounts, including those of Elon Musk, Barack Obama, and Bill Gates, were compromised. The hackers used these accounts to post tweets promoting a Bitcoin scam, promising followers they would double their money if they sent Bitcoin to a specific address. The incident shows that no one is truly immune to incidents of cybercrime, no matter how prolific their online presence is.
The Case of the Dark Overlord
The Dark Overlord was a hacking group notorious for targeting healthcare providers and threatening to release sensitive patient data unless a ransom was paid. One of their most well-known incidents involved hacking into a London plastic surgeon’s clinic and threatening to release before-and-after photos of their patients. The group claimed to have hacked many healthcare organizations and demanded large Bitcoin ransoms.
Fish Tank Hack
In Las Vegas, a small fish tank was used to hack into a casino’s computer network. The fish tank was connected to the internet and had sensors that monitored temperature, food, and cleanliness. The hackers used the tank to gain access to the casino’s network and access sensitive information.
Although hacking and cybercrime seem like very modern offenses, there are records of their existence long before now. In 1903 The Royal Academy of Sciences was preparing to demonstrate a long-distance wireless telegraph message between London and Cornwall using the new technology. The word ‘Rats’ was sent repeatedly to the recipients in London until it changed to tapping out an insulting poem about Marconi, the inventor of the telegraph, “diddling the public”. The hacker was a magician and prankster, Nevil Maskelyne, and his interception proved that the connection was vulnerable, and messages were not private.
It is clear that the world of cybersecurity is a constantly shifting battleground where the unexpected is the norm. The stories mentioned here are just a few of many similar and even more unusual incidents. Protecting our personal information and systems against the strategies employed by hackers requires ongoing education, robust cybersecurity measures, and a healthy dose of skepticism. By learning from these stories and maintaining our guard, we can navigate the digital landscape with greater confidence and resilience against the whimsical yet often dangerous world of cybercrime. Not sure where to start when it comes to safety and security? IT Systems Solutions can help.