The Morris worm - one of the first recognised worms to affect the world's nascent cyber infrastructure - spread around computers largely in the US. The worm used weaknesses in the UNIX system Noun 1 and replicated itself regularly. It slowed down computers to the point of being unusable. The worm was the work of Robert Tapan Morris, who said he was just trying to gauge how big the Internet was. He subsequently became the first person to be convicted under the the US' computer fraud and abuse act. He now works as a professor at MIT.
NASA was forced to block emails with attachments before shuttle launches out of fear they would be hacked.
Business Week reported that the plans for the latest US space launch vehicles were obtained by unknown foreign intruders.
Estonian government networks were harassed by a denial of service attack by unknown foreign intruders, following the country's spat with Russia over the removal of a war memorial. Some government online services were temporarily disrupted and online banking was halted.
The attacks were more like cyber riots than crippling attacks, and the Estonians responded well, relaunching some services within hours or - at most - days.
The US Secretary of Defense’s unclassified email account was hacked by unknown foreign intruders as part of a larger series of attacks to access and exploit the Pentagon's networks.
China’s Ministry of State Security said that foreign hackers, which it claimed 42% came from Taiwan and 25% from the US, had been stealing information from Chinese key areas.
In 2006, when the China Aerospace Science & Industry Corporation (CASIC) intranet network was surveyed, spywares were found in the computers of classified departments and corporate leaders.
The databases of both Republican and Democratic presidential campaigns were hacked and downloaded by unknown foreign intruders.
Computer networks in Georgia were hacked by unknown foreign intruders around the time that the country was in conflict with Russia. Graffiti appeared on Georgian government websites.
There was little or no disruption of services but the hacks did put political pressure on the Georgian government and appeared to be coordinated with Russian military actions.
Hackers attacked Israel’s internet infrastructure during the January 2009 military offensive in the Gaza Strip. The attack, which focused on government websites, was executed by at least 5,000,000 computers.
Israeli officials believed the attack was carried out by a criminal organisation based in a former Soviet state, and paid for by Hamas or Hezbollah.
A group named the "Iranian Cyber Army” disrupted the service of the popular Chinese search engine Baidu. Users were redirected to a page showing an Iranian political message.
The same “Iranian Cyber Army” had hacked into Twitter the previous December, with a similar message.
Stuxnet, a complex piece of malware designed to interfere with Siemens industrial control systems, was discovered in Iran, Indonesia, and elsewhere, leading to speculation that it was a government cyber weapon aimed at the Iranian nuclear programme.
The Canadian government reported a major cyber attack against its agencies, including Defence Research and Development Canada, a research agency for Canada's Department of National Defence.
The attack forced the Finance Department and Treasury Board, Canada’s main economic agencies, to disconnect from the Internet.
In a speech unveiling the Department of Defense’s cyber strategy, the US Deputy Secretary of Defense mentioned that a defense contractor was hacked and 24,000 files from the Department of Defense were stolen.
The Russian firm Kaspersky discovered a worldwide cyber-attack dubbed “Red October,” that had been operating since at least 2007.
Hackers gathered information through vulnerabilities in Microsoft’s Word and Excel programmes. The primary targets of the attack appear to be countries in Eastern Europe, the former USSR and Central Asia, although Western Europe and North America reported victims as well.
The virus collected information from government embassies, research firms, military installations, energy providers, nuclear and other critical infrastructures.
South Korean financial institutions as well as the Korean broadcaster YTN had their networks infected in an incident said to resemble past cyber efforts by North Korea.