"Given the headlines lately, you could be forgiven for thinking that the biggest, baddest events in the history of computer security have all happened within the last few years. After all, there have been so many hacks disclosed that Stephen Northcutt of SANS recently observed, “The way we are going, there are only going to be a couple hundred people of any significant net worth in the United States that have not had their details lost in a privacy breach–and they are going to prove to be so ultra paranoid they never borrowed money or had a credit card.”
In reality, the history of the most significant hacks, malware and other security bungles stretches back a lot further than the oft-cited chronology breaches compiled by the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse. That’s why we’ve put together this list of the worst, but most important, moments in computer security–a sort of cynics’ guide through the history of information security.
Some of the items on the list were chosen because of their legislative impact or technical sophistication. Others were picked as a result of the media attention they received, and still others because of the focus they brought to important security issues. One even happened well before computers became a personal item, back when the Internet had a mere 60,000 connections. But each event, in its own way, is one that we at CSO think is momentous.
Of course the list is arguable. That’s half the fun." – Content courtesy of Hacks, Phreaks, Worms, Tigers and Bears–Oh My – Web Exclusives – Online Column – CSO Magazine