Boo! Halloween is upon us, which means it’s time for scary stories.
Roy Sun, 2014
The year was 2014. An electrical engineering student at Purdue University was fed up with attending class. An idea struck him one night in his tiny dorm room bed! Instead of going to class…he could use his hacking skills to change all of his F’s to A’s! This is no cartoon plot, this is real life. His plan worked. He hadn’t attended a single class senior year and yet he was about to graduate…and with straight As! Before he could graduate, however, the boy was caught and sentenced to 90 days jail time for fraud. Roy was the hero Perdue deserved, but not the one it needed.
PlayStation Network Hack, 2011
Computers aren’t the only technology vulnerable to hackers. It was a dark and stormy night in 2011. Millions of gamers were enjoying their third consecutive day playing Portal 2 when the terror struck. PlayStation’s online network was compromised by an incursion that lost the personal data of 77 million customers worldwide. The most terrifying part is that the hack caused a three week network shutdown…crushing news for all gamers. Sony lost $171 million dealing with this aftermath of this hack. *gasp*
Melissa Virus, 1999
New Jersey programmer David L. Smith was the mastermind behind the Melissa Virus, the most evil piece of chainmail of all time. 1999 was a simpler time, when people thought they could trust their emails. WRONG! The software hid behind the scary disguise of a Microsoft Word document and spread through email. The evil “document” sent itself, automatically, to the first 50 names in the email’s contact list. The virus spread like wildfire, affecting up to 20% of computers worldwide.
FBI and the 15-year-old boy, 2016
In an impressive feat of espionage, a 15 year old boy managed to hack the United States FBI database and released detailed information about all of the undercover FBI agents on the Dark Web. The horrific part of this story is that an amateur hacker was able to break into a government system that was thought to be secure and sophisticated. It’s scary to think that a 15 year old got their hands on such important information.