Biggest Security Incidents of 2016
Just like with any other industry, there are trends in security news. Throughout this year, there have been three top trends that are found in some of the biggest security incidents in 2016. As you look back on these security events, think of how we can more forward, predicting events like these and how to be proactive about them in the future.
In 2016, ISIS-inspired criminals made it their mission to create as many casualties as possible in a single event. Due to widespread propaganda by ISIS leaders, vehicle attacks became increasingly popular. The most notable attack began on the evening of July 14, a cargo truck was driven down the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, France during Bastille Day celebrations, killing 86 people and injuring 434 more. The truck traveled at 56 miles per hour through crowds of people only stopping after law enforcement shot and killed the driver.
The attack spurred several more like it overseas and inspired ISIS leaders to promote the attack style in propaganda. Fear of events like this in the United States encouraged police in cities around the country to add barriers to the perimeters of popular events and add additional officers to man the streets during events like the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Talks of another vehicle attack would make its way to Germany, where several popular Christmas markets would add concrete barriers to keep tourists safe. The barriers were not enough in Berlin, however.
On December 19, a large lorry, or 18-wheeler, hopped a sidewalk and drove through crowds at the Christmas market. 12 people died and 40 more were injured in the attack.
The year of 2016 saw the rise in popularity of hashtags such as #BlueLivesMatter and #BlackLivesMatter following increasing incidents of police-involved shootings. These shootings resulted in protests that turned to riots, upsetting cities and states as a whole.
The unrest led to a trend of police ambushes, starting with Dallas. On July 7, four Dallas police officers and one Dallas transit officer lost their lives when Micah Xavier Johnson open fired from a parking garage into the streets of downtown. Nine others were injured before police eventually neutralized Johnson using a bomb strapped to a bomb disposal robot. The event was coined, “The Deadliest Day for Law Enforcement since 9/11.”
Just ten days later, six Baton Rouge officers were shot at while responding to a call of a suspicious person. Within two minutes of the first officers arriving shots were fired, killing one officer and wounding the other. When backup responded to help the wounded officer, Long shot and killed the responding officer and also shot the wounded officer and killed him, too. Long shot at and wounded three other officers in his ambush before he was taken down by a SWAT team member who took aim at him from about 100 yards away. The entire incident lasted less than ten minutes.
These incidents were not the only ones that lead to the deaths of police officers. In all, 64 officers lost their lives to gunfire in 2016.
2016 will forever be remembered as the most bizarre Presidential Election of all time. The campaign season did not come without its cybersecurity headlines.
While Hillary Clinton’s emails and the DNC and RNC getting hacked were constant headlines, the most terrifying came after the election when several prominent politicians announced they believe Russia hacked the political voting process to favor President-Elect Trump. While the accusation has still not been debunked, the fear of the hack came before voting even started. Homeland Security met with states to beef up cybersecurity efforts and several polling places made sure to never be online during the voting, to not compromise any data.
While the accusation has still not been debunked, President Barack Obama has asked for a formal investigation into the criminal incident.
Perhaps the largest hack revealed in 2016 (the largest hack ever) was that of Yahoo. The company said that in 2013 over a billion users were found vulnerable due to a hack in the system. Yahoo had just started to get over revealing a hack in 2014 that affect half as many users when they found the leak of users’ data online. The company remains vigilant in its investigations into the problem.
What do you believe was one of the biggest security incidents of 2016? Tweet them to me at @1105Sydny.