From the click-clack of the Enigma machine that stumped so many for so long to the Anonymous “Million Mask March” on the White House to protest against corporate and government corruption, we’ve assembled an illustrative timeline of the cyber world—and the crime that’s accompanied it. What’s clear is that the black markets that are supporting hackers have rapidly grown into mature economies that are greatly increasing the threats companies face. We’ve chronicled ecosystems, attacks, and products with the hope of offering you a bit of history you may not have known or thought about recently.
For instance, do you remember the “I Love You” virus? In 2000, it affected 10% of Internet-connected computers and caused an estimated $5.5 to $8.7 billion in damages. Or does the name Dmitry Sklyarov ring a bell? He was a Russian programmer who was the first person criminally charged with violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Or did you realize that 19% of hackers today reside in the U.S. (that’s right, H.A.C.K. in the U.S.A.)? Or, wait, this one floored me. Can you believe it’s been nearly 20 years since Angelina Jolie’s Hackers was in theaters?
Okay, so that last one didn’t make the timeline. But I think it should have, and I might just have to add it. See, the best thing about this timeline—it’s interactive. And we’d really like your help in filling in the gaps. So if there’s a cybercrime or hacker or technology that left an indelible impression on you, please do share. Or just go ahead and enjoy a walk through hacking history.