2023 Data Disaster Horror Stories
This Friday the 13th, we’re taking a look at some of the biggest and scariest data disasters of 2023. But don’t let these tales cost you sleep at night! We’re also offering 20% off on Macrium Reflect Home Annual plans until Halloween. (And what’s the spooky season without some scary movies? How many references can you spot?)
It's enough to make you Scream. State-sponsored attacks aren’t a new threat, but when a group associated with North Korea attacked VoIP company 3CX, they made history. Over half a million 3CX customers were affected thanks to a single employee’s PC being infected with a previously infected app.
“This is the first time we've ever found concrete evidence of a software-supply-chain attack leading to another software-supply-chain attack,” says Mandiant Consulting's chief technology officer Charles Carmakal. “So this is very big, and very significant to us.”
Don’t Look Now, but this may be the first of many such events.
MGM Resorts and Caesars Entertainment
They’re heeeerrreee… Nope, it wasn’t a poltergeist in the slot machine, or a ghost in the elevator. Many sources point to ALPHV and Scattered Spider as the hacking groups who spun webs around two of the biggest casino resorts in the world, marking one of the biggest ransomware attacks in years. Not only were daily operations disrupted for days, the hackers were able to access personal information of many loyalty card members, including Social Security numbers. The MGM Resorts and Caesars Entertainment attacks have cybersecurity experts around the world doubling down on warnings about social engineering.
“The hackers first breached an outside IT vendor before gaining access to the company’s network…”
Indeed, one of the most complex issues security pros face isn’t technical at all; it’s the end user. Technology like encryption and remote monitoring and management (RMM) has gotten so good, it’s becoming easier for hackers to target people themselves. Social engineering and phishing scams have always been consistent money makers for cyber criminals, but for a few days they made Las Vegas the Village of the Damned.
Get Out the Vote! While this one technically happened a few years ago, the public is only just finding out now. The United Kingdom's electoral registers fell victim to a “complex cyber-attack” which resulted in 40 million people’s personal information being compromised. Information like full names, email addresses, home addresses, and telephone numbers might not be critical info in of themselves, but if they were to be joined with other personal information gleaned in other ways, it certainly adds a few important pieces to the jigsaw puzzle that is our personal lives.
If 2023 tech had to be summed up all we’d need is two little letters: AI. A tsunami of hype and fear and speculation seemed to wash over all corners of the planet as ChatGPT and other AI platforms filled the social conversation. It really did seem like it was everywhere all at once.
It’s not that an AI itself could start posing a direct threat (yet), but that its ease of use has made scamming so much easier for hackers around the world. Not only can they use AI to scale their schemes faster, but the software’s abilities help make the language they use in phishing emails sound native and natural. This means that even the most suspicious of us could fall victim, and parts of the world that have largely been ignored due to difficult language barriers are at greater risk.
And all that’s not even touching on the Frankenstein’s Monster of Deepfake video and audio that looms in the future.
Natural disasters in the US
Beware The Fog and The Mist aren’t exactly threatening, but it’s important to note that not all data disasters are malicious. Natural disasters like fires, floods, earthquakes and hurricanes can have devastating consequences on life and property. But if data systems aren’t properly protected, that destruction may be even further reaching.
From January 2023 to date, the United States alone has experienced over 23 separate billion dollar disasters. That’s over $57 billion in damages, with a few months of the year left to go. As our climate changes and weather becomes more severe, it’s important to prepare for the unpredictable.
Avoid the Nightmare
If you’re ready to Let the Right One In and join millions of others who trust Macrium with their data, now is a great time to get started with our Reflect Home Annual plan. From now until October 31st, you can get your subscription for 20% off. That means you’ll get access to exclusive support, a free setup call with one of our team, all updates and fixes, plus entry to our customer forum and knowledgebase.
And if you can’t get enough of the scary stories, be sure to check out our previous posts!