The Worst Cyber Attacks Of 2018

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The number of cyber attacks has risen in 2018 – over 43% of businesses and 19% of charities experienced a cyber security breach or attack in the last 12 months. However, only 27% of business in the UK have a formal cyber security policy in place according to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s ‘Cyber Breaches Survey 2018’.

To round off 2018, we have collated the worst cyber attacks of 2018 from British Airways to Vision Direct.

PGA Championship Cyber Attack


During August this year, staff working at the PGS Championship discovered ransomware on their computer systems ahead of the 100th championship in Missouri.

The hackers took control of the American PGA’s systems by encrypting key promotional materials.  They demanded a bitcoin ransom from the golf association in return for stolen files. The demands were accompanied by a stern warning that any attempt to break their encryption would result in a complete loss of all files held on the system.


British Airways Cyber Breach


At the beginning of September, British Airways experienced an advanced cyber attack on its website. The cyber breach saw the theft of many of the airline’s customers’ names and email addresses as well as credit card information. It was estimated that a staggering 380,000 transactions were affected.

This extremely sophisticated attack on the airline’s security system has resulted in the Information Commissioner’s Office investigating the breach, which could result in BA facing fines.

Managing Director of the Direct Marketing Association Rachel Aldighieri said:

“British Airways has a duty to ensure their customer data is always secure. They need to show that they have done everything possible to ensure such a breach won’t happen again.”


Vision Direct Cyber Hack


At the beginning of November, Vision Direct came under attack as thousands of their customers’ personal data was exposed. The hack against the contact lens retailer exposed customers’ payment card numbers, expiry dates and CVV codes. This includes payment card information for Visa, Mastercard and Maestro.

Over 16,300 customers were identified as being at risk of the cyber attack. However, this attack didn’t only affect the UK – Vision Direct’s websites in Ireland, France, Spain, Belgium, Italy and The Netherlands were all affected.

A spokesperson for the company said:

“This particular breach is known as Shoplift and was already known to our technology team, who installed a patch provided by our web platform provider to prevent this form of malware.”

Vision Direct has recently issued an apology to all their customers.


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