With the recent hack of online affair website Ashley Maddison, cyber-crime is in the spotlight. However, it's been an issue plaguing both companies and users for many years and one that shows no signs of halting.
Thanks to the increased fame of 'hacktivists' like the group Anonymous, who use hacking as a social justice tool, hacking is sometimes regarded as a method of extracting justice on corporations the public can't touch.
Such is the case for Ashley Maddison, who are now suffering a backlash that hinges on the negative perception of their website. To most, the hack is justified because their site promotes affairs.
Unfortunately, the idea of hacking being pro-public couldn't be further from the truth. Despite high profile hacks against governments and businesses, the customer and average home user is still the main victim of cyber-crime. This was highlighted in 2014 when eBay was hacked and users had to change their passwords to prevent their accounts from being compromised.
According to the infographic below by iRooms provider, Imprima, there were an average of 117,339 cyber-attacks carried out every single day in 2013, costing the UK economy £27 billion. 81% of large businesses have suffered cyber-attacks, while 60% of small businesses have also fallen victim to hackers.
Aside from the average users hacking affects, it also an enormously costly and high-profile form of crime that cripples businesses in cases that are reported on in the news. A 2014 hack saw celebrity photos being stolen from personal mobiles and tablets, with 'nudes' being shown to the public and compromising many actors, actresses and celebrities dignity. The Sony PlayStation network suffered a two week long outage due to hackers that cost around $171 million.
The proponents and those responsible for hacking, such as Anonymous and other famous hackers like Albert Gonzalez, will argue that cybercrime is not as harmful as physical crime. However, when you consider the cost and the damage they wreak on businesses and home users, it is far harder to make that claim. Check out the full infographic below for an overview of hacking in the headlines.
Click on the infographic to enlarge it