The Top 5 Hacks of 2021

The Top 5 Hacks of 2021

As technology becomes an integral part of any business, they become more vulnerable to cybercriminals. Therefore, it’s essential to understand that cybersecurity is inevitable as you take your business to the online world. From ransomware attacks to the exploitation of business vulnerabilities, 2021 saw some high-profile hacks that crippled the operations in big companies.

As Wired experts put it, 2021 was the year of ransomware, data breaches, surveillance, and more attacks as criminal gangs became more aggressive. As a matter of fact, anything operating online is a target. Hackers are always looking for ways to make money or have fun by exploiting weaknesses in your systems. Let’s analyze the top 5 hacks in 2021 and what you can learn from them.


In early May 2021, Colonial Pipeline had the most significant cyberattack. Darkside hackers infiltrated their systems, stealing over 100 gigabytes of data and threatened to release it. That forced the largest oil and gas company to temporarily suspend its operations to contain the malware. That not only caused a fuel crisis but also panic in the whole Southeast region. Colonial Pipeline was forced to pay a ransom, but the damage caused was irreversible.


Even though hackers mainly target government and financial institutions, entertainment companies aren’t safe either. In October 2021, an anonymous hacker shared around 126 GB of Twitch data, including its source code and history. The hacker also exposed the company’s confidential documents and the personal information of its users. Most Twitch accounts were compromised, forcing users to change their login information to avoid having their data going public. The hacker attacked Twitch to disrupt its operations and give its competitors an advantage.


  1. Many companies use this tool for company meetings. It is easy to record the meetings you hold and have files available for later viewing for those who may have missed the gathering. You can easily post these files to a SharePoint site via Microsoft Stream, another program in Office 365.
  2. Gone are the days when you have to collaborate with teams just via email. Teams are a great way to share documents being worked on via SharePoint, as well as receive updates on changes and progress. This cuts down on the amount of emails exchanged in team settings as well.


Hackers exploited a vulnerability in VSA, a software developed by this giant IT service provider company. This attack affected more than 1000 companies, adding to the most significant ransomware attacks so far. These were mainly government agencies and businesses providing IT services. The attackers demanded a $70 million ransom for the decryption of the company’s frozen files. Even though Kaseya managed to restore the IT infrastructure of its clients, the damage caused was devastating. Apart from causing widespread downtime, it led to a Swedish supermarket chain closing and negatively impacted the United States-Russia relationship.


JBS is the largest provider of beef and pork in the US. Its attack shows that hackers do not choose which companies or businesses to attack. In May, JBS suffered a ransomware attack that crippled its operations. They paid an $11 million ransom to regain access to their systems. What caused the attack remains unclear, but the company had to produce an enormous ransom in Bitcoin to the hackers to get the decryption key.


Hackers are not picky — they strike at the slightest chance. Cybersecurity is vital whether your business is in food, tech, insurance, or any other industry. These 2021 hacks should be a wake-up call for you to comprehensively protect your business from any cyberattack whatsoever. Cybersecurity is a problem affecting both small and large companies, creating the need for organizations to take it seriously and invest their resources in protecting their systems. Imagine paying millions or losing crucial data to hackers? That isn’t good for business.

Let ICS Data help keep your systems secure, protect your company’s data and avoid falling victim to cyberattacks. Talk to our experts for any IT-related information and services. We can help you protect your business from hackers.

Stay Clear of Hackers This Thanksgiving Weekend

Stay Clear of Hackers This Thanksgiving Weekend

According to, “U.S. Warns Hackers Will Try to Strike During Thanksgiving Weekend“. Moreover, US cyber authorities are urging companies, especially operators of critical infrastructure, to shore up their defenses during the coming holidays.


The root cause of the prediction is entirely based on employees being out for a given period of time, leaving technical infrastructure alone. They also state, “Recent history tells us that this could be a time when these persistent cyber actors halfway across the world are looking for ways—big and small—to disrupt the critical networks and systems belonging to organizations, businesses, and critical infrastructure,” the agencies said.

Ultimately, the authorities are nervous about hackers spreading ransomware to a victim’s network. As you may know, the idea behind ransomware is to cripple your files so that you have little to no access – to which hackers request a “ransom” (money) to open your network back up to you. And of course, there’s always the sweat about having your employees personal data, files, and the businesses most confidential information stolen.

“There haven’t been any specific events made by hackers thus far, but authorities also have noticed these attacks coming during holidays or weekends”, the agencies said.

As a result, the ongoing issue has prompted the Biden administration to make fighting ransomware a national security priority.

With that being said, we recommend your company take action to protect yourself against smaller, minor acts of ransomware and attacks from hackers. It’s only becoming more popular, and the time to protect your company’s assets is now. Get ahold of us today to see how we can help.

What You Need to Know About the Facebook Outage

What You Need to Know About the Facebook Outage

A few days ago, there was an interesting series of events that caused a Facebook outage. According to Facebook Engineering, “their teams learned that configuration changes on the backbone routers that coordinate network traffic between their data centers caused issues that interrupted this communication. This disruption to network traffic has a cascading effect on the way their data centers communicate, bringing their services to a halt.”

So, if you noticed that your Facebook and/or Instagram page was down on Monday, that’s the explanation as to why. In the same article, they provide an apology to “all of the people and businesses around the world that rely on them.” It’s a shame to see communications errors, but as we realize, they sometimes happen to even the largest of giants.

Let’s dive a little deeper into what exactly happened…


As baffling as it seems, this did actually happen. Stacked Marketer mentions, “it could have been a deal of a century.”

Because Facebook-owned properties were offline, someone performed some DNS magic on causing it to appear “for sale” on many registrar websites. Twitter’s founder, Jack Dorsey, was one of the first to offer to buy the domain (see image to the right).

ICS Data - Jack Dorsey's Twitter Post About Facebook Outage


It’s true, even the biggest tech companies in the world can have failures that cause catastrophe. That’s why it’s important to understand that live [hot] changes can affect outcomes at any stage of your technological process. Meaning, it’s better to test [stage] processes before doing anything to affect internal measures.

This Facebook outage cost Mark Zuckerberg billions of dollars. Now, we’re not saying that it could cost you that much, but you would lose time, money, and possible assets in the same situation.

Let’s talk today and see what other technical adventures we can help with.