2020's scariest cybersecurity stories

Yann Roll I 12:00 am, 27th August


Covid-19 was not the only pandemic that plagued our lives in 2020. Cybersecurity crimes and data breaches were recorded from global companies across 81 countries in the first half of the year. Malware spread rapidly from one network to the next and from one computer to another, affecting millions of people. 2020 was a year of cloud jacking, phishing attacks, ransomware attacks, deepfakes, and more. Here’s a look at two of 2020’s scariest cybersecurity stories.


Over 130 high-profile Twitter accounts were hijacked on 15 July 2020. The high-profile breach included the hijack of high-profile Twitter accounts like Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, former US president Barack Obama, and Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos.

It started with several Twitter handles being compromised. Twitter’s Detection and Response Team (DART) detected suspicious activity. Still, it was only later that afternoon when bitcoin scams began to pop up on the social media platform, the company realized something was seriously wrong. The hours following the bitcoin tweets were the worst ever in the history of Twitter - not just on the platform, but in the company as well. Over the next several hours, the hackers made over $100,000 through the bitcoin scam.

Two weeks later, Gram Ivan Clark, aged 17, who masterminded the breach, was tried as an adult for the attack. Following the attack, Twitter hired Rinki Sethi as its new CISO.

Software AG

Software AG – Germany’s second-largest software vendor and Europe’s seventh-largest was hit with a $23 million Clop ransomware attack in October 2020. Hackers stole over one terabyte of company documents and highly personal information of its 5000 employees.

The hackers stole information from employee laptops and the company’s internal network. Information compromised included employee passport numbers, health care information, contact lists, emails, photo ID scans, and even employment contracts.

The extortionists threatened to dump all the stolen data if they were not paid. The company refused to pay the ransom amount. As a result, the extortionists carried out their threat and published the stolen data on a data leak site.


In 2020, data breaches were up by 600%, leading 89% of CISOs and CIOs to believe cybersecurity was the top priority for 2020. Although CISOs and CIOs operate with different viewpoints, they share goals that overlap. While they might have separate teams within an organization, come a cyberattack, and they must act collaboratively to avert a more significant crisis.

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