The Ten Most Spectacular Cyber Attacks of 2010

As the internet becomes a primary source for everything from news and entertainment to commerce and business, it makes sense that groups and hackers would be busier than ever. Websites are far more vulnerable to attack than, for example, television stations and hackers of all types relish the thought of taking them down.

In some cases, it's a matter of cyber retribution for a perceived injustice. Others want to steal information while still others just want to see if they can do it. Whatever the case, 2010 has been a banner year for those who want to take down websites. From Gawker to Visa, virtually no one is safe. Here are our ten most spectacular cyber attacks of 2010.

10. Gene Simmons Technically, Gene Simmons, the man, wasn't hacked, but GeneSimmons.com and SimmonsRecords.com were shut down after comments he made in an interview about illegal file trading of music. "Be litigious. Sue everybody. Take their homes, their cars," the KISS bassist said 24 hours before his websites were downed by the hacker vigilante campaign Operation Payback. Given Simmons' giant ego, we doubt this will be last time he says something stupid and gets hacked as a result.

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Jeff Balke is a writer, editor, photographer, tech expert and native Houstonian. He has written for a wide range of publications and co-authored the official 50th anniversary book for the Houston Rockets.
Contact: Jeff Balke