IT Security & Network Security News & Reviews: Anonymous, RSA Lead the Top IT Security News of 2011
Hacktivism increased dramatically in 2011, and for many people, cyber-attacks became an accepted form of political and social activism. While there had been distributed-denial-of-service attacks against controversial organizations in the past, there was more of a focus on getting voices heard by attacking and defacing Websites, disclosing personal information and generally causing mayhem.
A series of data breaches, cyber-attacks and privacy missteps by major organizations dominated the news when it came to security in 2011. These incidents also revealed how vulnerable personal information was in this modern, interconnected society. Security was no longer something that tech-savvy professionals and hobbyists thought about, as breach notifications piled up in the Average Joe's mailbox. Some experts called 2011 the Year of the Hack, as hackers targeted everyone. It seemed like no industry was spared, as defense contractors reported intrusion attempts, gaming and entertainment companies were breached, and small and midsize financial institutions reported criminals targeting online banking to fraudulently transfer money overseas. The past 12 months could also be dubbed the "Year of the Data Breach," as criminals, hacktivists and cyber-spies all went after critical databases, stealing and leaking tons of sensitive information. To be fair, some of the biggest stories of 2011 weren't by malicious criminals as some clueless insiders played a part, too. Here, eWEEK looks at, in no particular order, 11 of the biggest security stories that kept us on the edge of our seats in 2011.