The Top 5 Hacks of 2021

ICS Data - Top 5 Hacks of 2021

Written by Jacob Acker

February 22, 2022

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.