Business Tech

The Biggest Cyber Attacks of 2020

The past year has been one of change. We’ve all been dealing with the effects of the pandemic on our lives, and we’ve – as a global team – watched the planet shift to a digital landscape. 

The use of the internet exploded more than ever, with students learning from home, people working remotely from their living rooms and a lot of businesses having no choice but to adjust and adapt to an online way of working.

The thing is, while this has been a revelation for most, it’s been a difficult year for a lot of businesses. In fact, most people out there are not aware that there have been more than 400million cyberattacks that have been reported, and this figure is double what occured in 2019. The world went digital, and cyber criminals sat up and paid attention.

 They’re getting better at targeting the weaknesses of a business, knowing where to strike and where the soft underbelly of a business lies. Some of the attacks include ransomware, data leaks, breaches and even supply chain attacks – and below, we’ve got some of the biggest cybersecurity incidents that occurred in 2020.

18 Companies Had Data Leaked

Up until July 2020, a number of incidents occurred, but the biggest was 386 million user records from 18 different companies stolen. This information was stolen by a hacker called ShinyHunters, and it’s believed that they made a ton of money by selling all of their data online. 

The data is usually sold privately first, and once it’s no longer useful, it gets published to boost the reputation of the hacker.


Credit giant Experian had a huge data leak last year, with 24 million South African consumers being affected. 793,749 businesses had their data stolen, and this happened in August 2020. A hacker pretended to be a client to request the services of Experian to get that information. 

Experian reported the leak to the police, and the information that was leaked was secured and deleted – thankfully!

MGM Hotel

More than 10.6 million people who stayed at MGM hotels had their data leaked in February 2020. From birth dates to email addresses, CEOs to tourists, the leak was huge and affected a lot of people. 

The information was posted on a forum that published the information, and this became a huge security issue.

World Health Organization (WHO)

During one of the biggest pandemics that the world has ever seen, the WHO themselves had over 25,000 email addresses and passwords stolen. Given that the world is in crisis, this is a data breach that really shocked the world. 

The online information stolen belonged to the WHO, the NIH, the CDC and the Gates Foundation – so big names and credentials belonging to staff were published. Luckily for the WHO, the data wasn’t recent enough to pose a threat.

The Right IT Company

It’s important to note that with the help of the right IT company, a data breach needn’t be a problem. You can keep your business data and your employee data safe with managed IT services watching your business 24/7.