In this article we are going to list the 15 biggest companies that have been hacked. Click to skip ahead and jump to the 5 biggest companies that have been hacked. The revenue obtained by major corporations plays a huge role in furthering the economy and GDP of a country. Typically, such companies will require over ten thousand employees to fill jobs from entry level positions all they way up to corporate- making them a source of income for a considerable majority However, the impact is not just limited to who the company pays, but rather, those who pay the company as well. Large companies such as Walmart, Google, and Amazon are now household names, with their products being used by millions of people all over the world. Whether it be for income, employment, or products, it goes without saying that many individuals depend on these companies for one reason or another.
Hence, this makes it even more dangerous and destructive when one of these companies gets hacked. Being “hacked” is a layman’s term for a serious security breach where an individual not associated with an organization gains unauthorized access to a computer system or private network. Once access to this confidential information has been gained, hackers can steal, destroy, or tamper with that information in whatever way they desire. Many attacks are done by individuals with no specific animosity to the company; instead, their motivation is to use the attack to gain large amounts of money from the company. These attacks are known as “Ransomware attacks”, and typically involve a hacker gaining access to a company’s important data and then locking it so the company no longer has access. They then threaten the company employees to pay a specific, very high amount of money for their access to be restored.
Regardless of what the motive behind a security breach attack is, the impact is almost always negative. Companies can lose millions of important files and documents about an upcoming product. Then, if those files and documents fall into the hands of a competitor. the result is even more disastrous. A significant amount of money can also be lost, such as in the case of a ransomware attacks as discussed above. However, the biggest consequence with the most lasting impact is a security breach in which details of a company’s users is made public. Users trust these large corporations with a significant amount of information about themselves. This information can be anything from basic details such as name, age, and gender to more specific such as address, phone number, and credit card information. If this data were to go into the wrong hands, the effects could be disastrous. A study conducted by Poneman Institute showed that out of all those users that reported being a victim of a data breach, 65 percent claimed to have lost trust in the company, while 27 percent stopped doing business with the company altogether. Once a company has been hacked, everything from their revenue and losses to reputation and customer trust is affected.
When you see the list of companies that have faced a security breach or been hacked, you will be amazed to find out that many of these names are of companies which you recognize. You may even be a loyal customer, conducting business with them regularly, and have possibly given them some data about yourself as well. Although the attack on each company varied in severity, they are similar in the fact they are very large corporations excelling in their work. To prepare their ranking, we have used Fortune Global 500 as our source, ranking the companies based on revenue, assets, profits and employees of the company as well. Let us look at the companies who have been a victim of malicious hackers, starting with number 15:
15. Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST)
Total revenue of the company in 2019 (in millions of dollars): 152,703
Total profits of the company in 2019 (in millions of dollars): 3,659
Total assets of the company in 2019 (in millions of dollars): 45,400
Total employees of the company in 2019: 201,500
The retail giant faced a security breach between June of 2014 and July of 2015 in which the company’s online photo centre was hacked. The result was customers’ data such as emails, passwords, and possible credit card information being compromised. The company released a statement to stating that all customers who used the website within those 13 months be extra cautious.