History of Cybercrimes

History of Cybercrimes – Part 2

This article talks about history of cybercrimes from 1962 to 2005, this is in continuation of last week’s article.

History of Cybercrimes is fascinating and last week I talked about when and how the cybercrimes started in 1834 and gave you few historical facts and stories associated with how the cybercrimes evolved and stopped at 1962. Most of attacks explained were associated with telegraph, telephone and early forms of Individual computers and the invention of Intranet changed the cybercrime landscape bigtime. In this article, I will talk about the history of cybercrime across the world from 1962 to 2005 as after that cybercrime became mainstream with many organized gangs and companies got in and amount of money involved also multiplied. Most of you would be aware of the things that happened after 2005.

History of Cybercrimes (1962-2005) :-

The U.S. Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET) was the first version of the current Internet and was started in 1969, what started as a defense computer network was made public and Internet what we know today was born on January 1st, 1983. First computer virus (creeper virus) by Bob Thomas and was leashed on ARPANET in year 1971, here computer virus is nothing but a self replicating program(which does specified tasks like sending criminal specific details or creating a window for his to access the computer). In 1988, Robert Morris created “Morris worm” and infected computer systems at Stanford, Princeton, Johns Hopkins, NASA, Lawrence Livermore Labs, and UC Berkeley, among other institutions. The Morris Worm is estimated to have caused as much as $100 million in damage, which is recognized as the first major cyber attack worldwide.
In 1979, first software piracy was done when 16 year old Kevin Mitnic famously hacked into the computer at the Digital Equipment Corporation used for developing operating systems, made copies of the software and used/shared it illegally. First conviction for a cybercrime happened in the year 1981, when Ian Murphy was convicted for hacking into AT&T’s internal systems and changing their computers’ clocks, causing significant damage to the business. First major recognized cyber espionage case occurred in year 1986, when German hacker Marcus Hess hacked 400 US military computers, including mainframes at the Pentagon, intending to sell stolen information to the KGB.
Ransomware which affects businesses and common people by encrypting the data or denying the access to your computer, was first created in year 1989, where 20,000 software virus infected diskettes were distributed to attendees of the World Health Organization’s AIDS conference, and when they used it on their computers it got locked and a message was displayed asking victims to send US$189 to a PO box in Panama for the key to unlock.
First Cyber Terrorism incident was recorded in year 1994, when US Airforce Military lab computers in Rome was attacked by a 16 year old UK based hacker for fun but it disrupted flight operations for 26 days and was caught when he boasted about this while leaking confidential data as proof. First online bank robbery was done in the year 1995, when Russian cybercriminal Valdimir Levin stole $400,000 from a major US Bank, but he was caught when he came to US to collect the funds.
Data breach or data leak has become a big issue nowadays, where the personal and financially sensitive information about people are stolen and sold or used for committing cybercrimes. First major breach which caught the global attention happened in year 2005, when 1.4 million credit card details was leaked from DSW warehouse corp. in US and the largest data breach recorded till now is 10.88 billion personal records from CAM4 database(which stored details of customers of major Adult websites worldwide), which happened in March 2020.
Hope you find the stories and facts related to cybercrimes worldwide interesting and in the next article I will talk about the prominent cybercrimes that happened in India.

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