The Biggest Privacy Scandals of 2017

RapidVPN/ August 26, 2018/ Blog/

The year 2017 was full of several instances of privacy scandals especially in the areas of data leaks, data breaches, and cyber attacks. This write-up brings you the biggest privacy scandals of 2017.

  1. The CCleaner Backdoor

CCleaner is one of the most popular computer maintenance tools with mobile compatible versions. It helps to remove accumulated junk data from the computer and mobile devices. It is such a useful tool that is used to create more useable space or memory. However, it came as a big shock when it was made public that CCleaner contained a malware, the Floxif Trojan, which was included in the software package. The malware was capable of installing a backdoor through which hackers could access and hijack people’s computers.

About two million computers were affected, and just a few of them got their systems loaded with the second stage of the Trojan, which was targeted at specific companies. However, a clean version of CCleaner was released, but the scandal was horrifying.

  1. Weeping Angel

The Weeping Angel’s scandal was a big one as it concerned a large percentage of the populace because it was targeted at televisions and other consumer devices. Weeping Angel was a CIA tool invented to spy on people by using their Samsung smart TVs. The scandal was released by WikiLeaks  that the CIA created the tool to put the Samsung smart TV into a “fake-off” mode whereby the TV looks off but it is indeed on, and its microphone relays all the discussions within the earshot of the TV to the hackers. The scandal made several people jittery about the possible breach of the privacy.

  1. The Equifax Credit Disaster

The data breach that involved Equifax, an American credit agency was one of the massive privacy breaches that happened in 2017. Equifax is responsible for keeping track of the credit info of every American; so, technically, the agency has a vast repository of data or information. The company, however, admitted that from May to July 2017, there was a big data leak as hackers gained access to sensitive records that affected about 145 million users such as date of birth, social security information, addresses, driver’s licenses, and more. It was a big scandal too big to conceal.

  1. Swedish Transport Agency (STA) Scandal

The error that resulted in the scandal started in 2015 when the STA went into an IT maintenance with IBM. But the agency mistakenly uploaded the IBM’s database that contained the information of every registered vehicle in the country on cloud servers without any confirmation that the contractors had any security clearance. The result was led to the firing of two ministers.