2012 has already seen many hackings and virtual attacks on large companies and institutes, such as Symantec, Foxconn, the Motion Picture Association of America, the CIA, and the FBI.
In January 2012, Symantec admitted that its servers were successfully hacked and Norton antivirus and other software source code was stolen.
The firm acknowledged that a portion of its source code was obtained from a third party but said that would not affect Norton antivirus users.
The hack came from a hacker known as YamaTough, who then went on to release the source code he had accessed.
YamaTough said he had tricked Symantic into offering him a bribe so that he could “humiliate them”.
In February 2012, self-proclaimed “hacktivist” group SwaggSec gained access to Foxconn’s internal network.
The group accessed the component manufacturer through an unpatched copy of Internet Explorer that an employee was using.
Motion Picture Association of America
In response to the file-sharing site Megaupload being taken down, online hacking group Anonymous attacked the Motion Picture Association of America by pulling down the organisation’s site.
The February 2012 retaliation for Megaupload also extended to the group hacking the US Department of Justice, RIAA, BMI, Warner Music Group, and Universal Music Group.
Anonymous had another big-scale hack when the group executed a denial-of-service (Dos) attack on the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
The CIA website was down momentarily, although the point had been made.
Scotland Yard and FBI hack
Anonymous’ attacks didn’t end, as the group went after the FBI and Scotland Yard.
The group accessed conference recordings between the FBI and UK police. The conference call was regarding plans to counter online hackers.
Anonymous also published an email, apparently from the FBI, showing the email addresses of call participants.