Happy Halloween! Do you know what’s scarier than ghosts or goblins? Hackers and malware, that’s what. Halloween, it just so happens, is also the last day of Cybersecurity Awareness Month. (Do your part. #BeCyberSmart)
So here’s a Halloween treat from all of us at Certification Magazine: A spooky cybersecurity quiz about famous hacks and other digitally destructive distractions. Be safe knocking on doors to get candy this weekend, and be safe online! Don’t fall for someone else’s Halloween trick!
1) Which two companies paid an estimated $100 million to a Lithuanian hacker who e-mailed them fake invoices from a Taiwanese computer hardware manufacturer?
2) What are the ursine nicknames of the hacker groups classified as APT28 and APT 29 by the United States government?
3) Which National Basketball Association (NBA) franchise was targeted by a ransomware attack in April 2021?
4) Who allegedly posted the message, “Your security is crap,” to a U.S. military website in 2000, while poking around looking for (among other things) classified information about UFOs?
5) Which hacker, known as The Piranha, famously required a bottle of chardonnay from Napa Valley’s Rombauer Vineyards as part of his personal hacking routine?
6) What was the unsecured data repository that was compromised via a hack of point-of-sale (POS) provider THSuite, exposing personally identifiable information (PII) connected to 30,000 medical marijuana consumers?
7) Which internet search provider ended its relationship with the Chinese government and closed down operations in China after a breach that was discovered in 2010?
8) Who was the first person charged in the United States with selling so-called “botnets,” or networks of hijacked computers?
9) What criminal hacking collective was founded in part by a hacker nicknamed Sabu, who dodged a 124-year prison sentence by becoming an informant for the FBI?
10) What bitcoin exchange, initially conceived as a card trading website for Magic: The Gathering Online players, was closed down and liquidated in 2014 after being looted of approximately 850,000 bitcoins by hackers?
1) Google and Facebook. The twin tech titans were duped by a phishing scheme hatched by Evaldas Rimasauskas. The invoices Rimasauskas presented were made out in the name of Quanta Computer.
2) APT28 is more colloquially known as Fancy Bear (believed to have attacked the Democratic National Committee in early 2016), while APT29 is Cozy Bear (believed to have participated in the SolarWinds hack at the end of 2020).
3) The Houston Rockets. Attackers using a ransomware known as Babuk claimed to have stolen 500 GB of data, including nondisclosure agreements and player contracts.
4) Scottish hacker Gary McKinnon is believed to have been responsible for that unvarnished observation. (Which no doubt would have pleased the proprietor of All Things Scottish on Saturday Night Live.)
5) The Piranha, also known as Charles Bartowski, is the main character of the NBC television series Chuck.
6) An Amazon S3 “bucket.” The POS system operated by THSuite, a medical marijuana startup, was breached when hackers discovered an unsecured object storage service container, or bucket.
7) Google. A state-sponsored hack led by China during the 2000s — later classified as Operation Aurora — targeted some of largest and most successful companies in the world. Prior to finding itself speared by Chinese military hackers, Google had reportedly cooperated with the Chinese government in censoring search results for the Chinese domain of Google.
8) Jeanson James Ancheta. Ancheta, just 20 years old at the time of his arraignment, was arrested by FBI agents during a sting carried out as part of Operation: Bot Roast.
9) Lulz Security, also known as LulzSec. Sabu was the nickname of American computer security specialist Hector Monsegur, who ended up being imprisoned for just seven months, plus one year of probation.
10) Mt. Gox. After beginning life as the brainchild of Magic: The Gathering Online aficionado Jed McCaleb, Mt. Gox was sold to a French developer based in Japan. According to findings presented by Japanese security researchers in 2015, the missing bitcoins were stolen directly from Mt. Gox’s hot cryptocurrency wallet over a period of about three years.