You’re probably sick and tired of the news of massive hacks, costing billions of victims’ money. How often do you hear of the weird ones that don’t make headlines?
Today, rather than cover the grim cyber attacks, we’ll be looking at the 7 strangest hacks to ever take place.
Let’s dive in…
- 1 The Top 7 Strangest Hacks Of All Time: From Horror To Hilarity
- 1.1 #1. Darktrace discovers the hacking of a fish tank
- 1.2 #2. Hacker breaches a baby monitor
- 1.3 #3. Marriot receives the weirdest job application
- 1.4 #4. Perhaps the first hack of all time
- 1.5 #5. The Church of Scientology Google bombing
- 1.6 #6. Vogue’s website is overrun by the prehistoric
- 1.7 #7. AC/DC rocks Iranian nuclear facility
The Top 7 Strangest Hacks Of All Time: From Horror To Hilarity
Today we’re looking at the odd ones out. From the strange to the surprising, here are the top 7 weirdest hacks to this date.
#1. Darktrace discovers the hacking of a fish tank
An anonymous North American casino was hacked in 2017, exposing the private data of high-rollers. The weirdest part of all was that they were hacked through their fish tank. Yes, I said that right – a fish tank.
Equipped with IoT sensors, a connected PC could control the water temperature, cleanliness, and the feeding of the fish. Once the hacker breached the tank, they moved to other vulnerabilities in the casino’s network.
Cybersecurity firm Darktrace discovered the hack of the internet-connected tank. The firm found that 10GB of data was sent to a device in Finland. Subsequently, the casino in question still remains unidentified.
#2. Hacker breaches a baby monitor
This one is a true horror story for any parents reading. In 2014, an Ohio couple was shocked to find that their baby monitor had been hacked. The intruder had full access to the microphone and live camera feed of the 10-month-old baby.
Quickly tired of watching a baby sleep, the hacker began shouting taunts through the speaker. The voice repetitively yelled “Wake up baby!”, until the parents discovered the intrusion.
Once entering the room, the couple turned to discover the camera facing them directly, with the hacker continuing to scream obscenities. IoT-related hacks like this have now become fairly common across the globe.
#3. Marriot receives the weirdest job application
A strange and ill-planned hack was launched against the Marriot International Corporation in 2010. The hacker held confidential information from the hotel chain hostage, in return for a job.
The 26-year-old Attila Nemeth from Hungary was desperate for a job. He sent trojan-infected emails to the corporation’s security firm. From there, he continued to steal financially sensitive information.
Attila, however, didn’t really think this through. In reaction, Marriot created a false employee profile, requiring his passport and contact information. The last thing he expected was that the US Secret Service would be sitting in on his job interview.
#4. Perhaps the first hack of all time
I know what you’re thinking – a hack before computers were even invented? This is exactly what happened in 1903, marking possibly the world’s first hack. The victim of the hack was Guglielmo Marconi, the “father of modern radio”.
The Royal Academy of Science was about to demonstrate a long-distance wireless telegram message. Just as Marconi began, strange messages began to emit from his new machine. The voice seemed to be repeating the word “rats” in morse code.
Eventually, the hacker was identified as Nevil Maskelyne, a renowned magician. Nevil was hired by the Eastern Telegraph Company to point out the vulnerabilities in the new technology. Evidently, he successfully achieved his goal.
#5. The Church of Scientology Google bombing
In early 2008, the Church of Scientology was attempting to forcefully remove an unfavorable YouTube video of their poster-boy Tom Cruise. Consequently, a group of hackers reacted to this in a rather hilarious manner.
Causing no real harm to the church, the hackers “Google bombed” them. The hackers manipulated the rankings of Google so that the Church of Scientology’s website ranked first for the search “dangerous cult”.
The church’s UK website was taken down for several days following mass protests. This funny story shows how hacking isn’t always about theft but can highlight important social issues too.
#6. Vogue’s website is overrun by the prehistoric
The Vogue website was hacked in 2013, with the anonymous intruder installing some very silly code. Just what made this hack so silly? Well, I’ll give you a hint – it involves the Konami code and dinosaurs.
Confused yet? I’m not surprised. When browsing Vogue or any other site owned by Condé Nast, the user could input the legendary Konami code (up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A) for hilarious results.
Upon entering the code, multiple accessorized dinosaurs would appear on the site. Each dinosaur would wear different hats and other headwear. The hacker is still unidentified, though theories have circulated that it was an inside job.
#7. AC/DC rocks Iranian nuclear facility
Quite possibly the most senseless government-related hack of all time – 2012 saw two Iranian nuclear facilities hacked. However, instead of the assault that hacks on these facilities usually face, the hacker broadcasted an AC/DC song over their PA.
Plant workers were subjected to hours of “Thunderstruck” on repeat, often in the middle of the night. What made this worse was the hacker decided to blast their chosen song at maximum volume.
While the circumstances of this particular hack were quite comical, the security holes they used were not. Installing malware of any kind on government servers is a red flag, but luckily, this hacker had a sense of humor.
So, tell me, do you own a fish tank? Are you worried about your own security? I know that after today, you may not look at a fish tank the same way again.
But at least, you can take a few precarious measures to protect your safety while using digital devices.
Download a VPN to protect yourself while you browse. A VPN or a Virtual Private Network encrypts your data and protects your sensitive information from intruders.
Never disclose your personal information on suspicious websites and always check their legitimacy. Finally, be smart about your passwords, and don’t use the same one for all the accounts.
Will all these measures (and your fish keeping quiet about all the secrets they witness) – you’ll be alright.