How Did These People Hack The Government?!

How Did These People Hack The Government?!


According to an article in the New Yorker
in 2014, the term hack in relation to technology came about in the 1950s. Back then, it had more benign connotations,
mostly meaning working on a technical solution to something. Then in the 1970s we started talking about
malicious hackers, people who would exploit vulnerabilities in a system. These people soon became known as “black
hat” hackers, while the hackers that were less malicious were called “white hats.” Then we have the term life hacker, which is
more or less neutral. Despite the fact there are the good, the bad,
and the ugly in the hacking world, we still for the most part tend to think of hacking
as something of a nefarious activity. We have good reason too, as you’ll find
out in this episode of the Infographics Show, Hackers Who Broke into the Government. War Games
Some media reports say one of the world’s most famous hackers, Kevin Mitnick, was the
inspiration behind the 1983 movie War Games. But in numerous interviews he has denied this,
although he did admit that he hacked a lot of big companies. Some reports tell us he also hacked the FBI
and NORAD – the North American Aerospace Defense Command. Perhaps he is telling the truth and this is
just bad journalism, so we’ll just say some sources state this happened. He did say this, though, in an interview with
Salon: “Hacking to me was like a video game. It was about getting trophies. I just kept going on and on, despite all the
trouble I was getting into, because I was hooked.” This hacker was revealed to the public, but
you’ll see later that some of the world’s biggest hackers remain faceless. More War Games
No one is denying that a British man called Matthew Bevan hacked into the United States
Air Force, NASA, NATO, and the Korean Atomic Research Institute. This guy has been accused by security experts
of almost starting World War Three. Along with another man, well, a 16-year old-boy
called Richard Pryce, Bevan hacked into military computer systems in the USA. The US government started a case against him
but later dropped it. While reports suggest this really did happen,
Bevan told The Guardian in 2002 that the US government had overblown things at the time. Speaking about another British hacker who
was accused of hacking American military computers, Bevan said, “I know how the American propaganda
works because I’ve been at the sharp end of it. If he is extradited, he is stuffed because
they will want to make an example of him.” The Winner
Kevin Poulsen has had an interesting career, becoming an editor and journalist after starting
out as a hacker. In 1990, he hacked his way to winning a Porsche
944 S2 by hacking a radio station’s telephone lines. But it’s also said that at the age of just
17 he hacked into ARPANET, the Pentagon’s computer network. He was arrested and sentenced to 5 years in
prison. He was banned from using computers for a few
years after his release, but he eventually became a writer working in tech journalism. The Loser
Like Poulsen, a young hacker called Jonathan James ended up behind bars, albeit for a probation
violation on the back of a cyber security crime he had committed. That crime was hacking into the United States
Department of Defense, and he did it when he was just a teenager. It’s said he hacked many emails of employees
and saw a lot of sensitive data. OPM Hack
The US Office of Personnel Management (OPM) was hacked in 2010. This is an office that according to Wired
staves off around 10 million attempted hacks per month. It’s said that in all 21.5 million records
were stolen, and all of them were related to employees at OPM. This went on for some time, and for a long
time no one had any idea who was behind it. The Washington Post reported in 2017 that
a Chinese national had been arrested for the hack, but it’s thought more people were
helping this one man. It was possible that the Chinese government
was behind him and his crew. The court transcripts said he would “acquire
and use malicious software tools, some of which were rare variants previously unidentified
by the FBI and information security community, including a malicious software tool known
as ‘Sakula.’” Pluck the Police
The FBI was certainly embarrassed after a 15-year-old British kid hacked into it in
2015. The media tells us that this teenager also
hacked into the Department of Homeland Security, and then he plucked and leaked tens of thousands
of highly sensitive files. He was said to be just one kid who belonged
to a group called Crackas With Attitude. Hacking the Democrats
In 2016, the media reported that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) had
been hacked, and thousands of emails had been leaked. Mashable wrote, “The hack exposed emails
indicating supposedly neutral DNC officials maneuvered in favor of Hillary Clinton over
Bernie Sanders.” Russian hackers were blamed for this incident. Russian Snakes
In 2018, there was another incident involving Russian hackers. This time, they were blamed for hacking the
German government. Reuters tells us that a group known as Snake
got into government computers and saw a lot of sensitive files. While Russian hackers were blamed, the Kremlin
denied any part of this hack, saying, “We note with regret that any hacking attacks
in the world are associated with Russian hackers but that each time they (the allegations)
are made without any tangible proof.” Nonetheless, it’s said this group, which
is linked to the Russian government, also tried to hack many other countries’ governments
using the same malware. Sick Singaporeans
The BBC writes that in 2015 Singapore’s government health database was hacked, so
someone got hold of the health information of 1.5 million people in that country. The good news is that the hackers only got
names and where the people went to the hospital. They also saw the medicine prescriptions of
160,000 people. Panicky in the UK
The biggest health hack of all time has to be when Britain’s National Health Service
was infiltrated in 2017. Hackers locked files containing information
about people’s health. They demanded money and then said if they
were paid, they would unlock those files. The Independent wrote at the time, “The
ransomware is shocking and horrifying.” Known as the WannaCry hack, these people got
into around 200,000 computers in an estimated 150 countries, so it might well be the hack
of all hacks. It has been reported that North Korea was
behind the attacks. The US government as well as Microsoft and
the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre also said that. In 2018, the US charged a North Korean citizen
called Park Jin Hyok for the hack. The Lost Virginians
Staying with health, in 2009 the very personal health information of 8.3 million Virginians
was hacked. The hackers demanded 10 million dollars or
else they would release the information, which consisted of patient records and prescriptions. It doesn’t seem like they got paid. With so many prolific hackers out there, even
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10% off a premium subscription today! These are some of the biggest government hacks
ever, but could you tell us if we’ve missed anything big? Have you ever hacked anyone, or have you ever
been hacked? Tell us in the comments. Also, be sure to check out our other show,
Most Dangerous Hackers In The World. Thanks for watching, and, as always, don’t
forget to like, share and subscribe. See you next time!