Sometimes there’s a temptation to think that cyberattacks are an unfortunate consequence of our ever-increasing interconnected digital world, which is underscored by the fact that most Americans walk around with a personal computer in their pocket. Cyberattacks, however, are nothing new.
In 1999, the so-called Melissa virus infected Microsoft Word documents and wreaked havoc on business and personal computers powered by Windows worldwide. It caused an estimated $80 million in damage and was the impetus behind the sales boom in anti-virus software, which has gained near universal acceptance since. Shortly after that, in 2000, a hacker dubbed Mafiaboy unleashed a series of distributed-denial-of-services (DDoS) attacks on a string of consumer sites, including Amazon, eBay, E*TRADE and Yahoo!, at the time the no. 1 search engine in the world. The blitz resulted in over $1 billion in damage.
Still, there’s no question that cybersecurity concerns have become more acute more recently…
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