Top 10 Historic Cyber Attacks and impact. (1999 to 2024 Update.)

Historic Cyber Attacks and impact

Threats from the digital world have existed ever since the internet was created. As technology advances, cybercriminals adapt to new methods of committing crimes online and offline among others. These bad actors have grown more clever over time and are capable of targeting anyone – from individuals to companies or even entire countrie’s.

Top 10 Historic Cyber Attacks and impact. (1999 to 2024 Update.)

This piece will explore some of the most significant cyber attacks in history, highlighting their effects and lessons learnt.

1. Marriott Hotel Data Breach (2014 – 2018)

Marriott International experienced a huge data breach where personal details of about 500 million guests were exposed. For several years, hackers got into the system and took names, addresses, passport numbers along with credit card information. The attack revealed the necessity for strong security measures as well as quick identification and response to such incidents.

2. WannaCry Ransomware Attack (2017)

WannaCry was a global ransomware attack that affected millions of computers running Microsoft Windows. Victims were asked to pay ransom in Bitcoin so as to have their files decrypted. Businesses, hospitals and critical infrastructure systems across the world were disrupted by this incident which underlined the importance of regular software updates and backups.

3. Ukraine Power Grid Attack (2015)

In 2015, hackers suspected to be from Russia infiltrated Ukraine’s power grid leading to massive blackouts for thousands of people. Cyber security experts termed it as an eye opener on how vulnerable vital internet-connected networks can be towards different forms of cyber threats and their actual physical effects.

4. Yahoo Data Breaches (2013-2014)

In 2013-14 Yahoo was breached multiple times and in the largest of these, the accounts of at least 500 million users were compromised. Personal data was stolen including names, email addresses and passwords which underscores this need for companies to protect their customers’ information better while also managing passwords more securely .

5. Adobe Cyber Attack (2013)

Credit card information as well as source code were among the user details exposed during an Adobe cyber attack of 2013 which pointed out risks involved when storing sensitive data and importance of encrypting them.

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6. PlayStation Network Attack (2011)

As many as 77 million people had their personal information compromised following a breach on Sony’s PlayStation Network in 2011 whereafter it suffered great financial losses due to lack of adequate security measures for online gaming platforms .

7. Estonia Cyber Attacks (2007)

In 2007 Estonia experienced certain cyber war activities wherein apart from its government sites; banks as well media houses became targeted areas too. These attacks showed how much damage can be done through such kind-of warfare that disrupts critical services within any given country’s infrastructure system.

8. NASA Cyber Attack (1999)

For 21 days a high school student managed to shut down NASA’s computers after hacking into them back in 1999.This made it clear even the most high profile organizations are not immune from cyber attacks thus there is need for constant vigilance coupled with proactive security measures at all times.

9. MOVEit Transfer Attack (2023)

Progress Software’s MOVEit Transfer tool was used as a vulnerability by hackers who gave rise to a huge data breach that affected many organizations. This incident exposed millions of people’s personal details and demonstrated the dangers related with third-party software vulnerabilities.

10. Melissa Virus (1999)

Melissa virus stands as one of the initial widespread email viruses, which caused a lot of disturbances and financial damages. It was distributed rapidly through email attachments, infecting computers and disrupting networks. This event made people understand that viruses can do great harm on a large scale and showed how important it is to learn about cyber security.


The biggest cyber attacks in history are listed as top 10 to remind us that cybercrime is always there. They point out that we should be careful not only individuals but also institutions need strong measures for their safety against such crimes. With the world going digital every day, more strategies will be invented by hackers so there is need of being knowledgeable enough about these changes while adapting ourselves towards this kind environment.