Armageddon Dooms Day, Judgment Day, the end of the world, call it what you want but most will agree that Armageddon is the end of something or the battle between the forces of good and evil. The big question is who is good and who is evil?
I don’t have the answer to this question but I do know something, Webageddon is coming and the signs have been there for everyone to see. Like a subliminal message, it appears ever so quickly and is soon replaced by everyday concerns, until it affects us personally.
What am I talking about? Well think back, how many times have you heard of cyber-attacks on the local news? Once a year perhaps or maybe once a month? If you think about it, you will realize it’s much more than that. Do you remember the store that had its client’s information stolen? What about the millions of email user’s ID and password that were hacked. Do you remember the celebrity who had compromising photos stolen from her cloud or a movie stolen and made available for free because it might have had a political message?
You might have joked about theses cyber-crimes because you have not been personally affected. Well, think again. Did you know that despite your best efforts, the odds of have your identity stolen is 6.64% or 1 in 15 people?
Consider these identity theft statistics:
- In 2017, 6.64 percent of consumers became victims of identity fraud or about 1 in 15 people
- That equals 16.7 million victims last year, an increase of 1 million from 2016
- Over 1 million children in the U.S. were victims of identity theft in 2017, costing families $540 million in out-of-pocket expenses
- There’s a new victim of identity theft every 2 seconds
- Identity theft is one of the most common consequences of data breaches, as 31.7 percent of breach victims experienced ID theft
- There were 1,579 data breaches exposing 179 million records last year
- It takes most victims of identity theft 3 months to find out what’s happening, but 16 percent don’t find out for 3 years
In other words, if your chances of winning the lottery were 1 in 15, as the odds of being an ID theft victim, we’d all have family, friends, and colleagues who are millionaires.
Personal loss is not the scariest part of Webageddon
Now put aside your personal loss for a minute. What if your identity completely disappears? What if you can’t prove you are who you say you are? What if the whole world loses the identity of its citizens? We would have chaos, we would have anarchy and yes, we would have Webageddon.
Is this really possible? What do you think would happen if the banks lost all information on our accounts? What if the government can’t identify us any longer? What if all national security data just disappeared? What if the energy we rely on stopped functioning? What if our medical records disappeared? Yes, what if indeed. Could this be happening now? Take a look at some documented hacks and then ask yourself if it’s possible. I have highlighted some that should really scare us.
John McAfee ranks the biggest hacks ever
- Stuxnet Worm 2010: Iran’s Nuclear Program Blocked (2010)
- Office of Personnel Management 21.5 million (2015)
- FBI hack by a 15-year-old boy (2016)
- The DNC hack (2016)
- Home Depot Hack 2014: Over 50 Million Credit Cards (2014)
- eBay Hack 2014: 145 Million Users Breached (2014)
- JPMorgan Chase Hack 2014: 83 Million Accounts (2014)
- LinkedIn 2016: 164 Million Accounts (2012)
LiveWire: The Greatest Computer Hacks
- Ashley Madison Hack 2015: 37 Million Users
- The Conficker Worm 2008: Still Infecting a Million Computers a Year
- Spamhaus 2013: The Largest DDOS Attack in History
- The Melissa Virus 1999: 20 Percent of the World’s Computers Infected
- Anthem Health Care Hack 2015: 78 Million Users
USA TODAY’s list of the biggest data breaches and hacks of all time
SAN FRANCISCO — Data breaches have become a fact of digital life, and they seem to be getting bigger. Here’s USA TODAY’s list of the largest reported breaches, in order of magnitude.
- Yahoo! 3 billion December 2016
- Yahoo! 500 million September 2016
- MySpace 360 million May 2016
- Under Armour 150 million March 2018
- Equifax, 145.5 million September 2017
- EBay 145 million May 2014
- Target, 110 million November 2013
- LinkedIn 100 millio, May 2016
- AOL, 92 million October 2007
- JP Morgan Chase, 83 million October 2013
- Anthem 80 million February 2015
- Sony PlayStation Network 77 million April 2011
- Uber 57 million Nov 2017
- Home Depot, 53 million September 2014
- TJ Maxx, 45.7 million 2007
- Ashley Madison, 32 million August 2015
- T-Mobile (via Experian), 15 million October 2015
- Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor, 5 million April 2018.
- Scottrade, 4.6 million October 2015
- UCLA Health 4.5 million July 2015
Have you noticed the number of victims? 360 million, 500 million, 3 billion and every year it rises.
So what can we do? There are a number of things we can do to protect ourselves. I’ve listed below three websites I think can really help but in the end, there is very little we can do. To quote one of the best investigators I have encountered, “Privacy Is Dead. Get over It.” See his YouTube lecture here: Steve Rambam
Webageddon is coming, brace yourself for the worst and hope for the best.
How to prevent identity theft