Cyber Decade Summary Report

The year 2021 technically marks the beginning of the 2020s, which means it’s time to look back. Here at Clarity Sec, we spent the last ten years in the front lines, protecting against the world’s top cyber threats as they emerged. Over the last decade, we’ve seen the emergence of several ominous new trends, such as the first attacks to hit physical infrastructure, the rise of state-sponsored criminal hacking groups, the emergence of ransomware, and the continually-eclipsed title of the Largest Cyberattack in History.

So much happened in the last ten years that it’s hard to imagine it all put together. Here are the highlights—a collection of incidents from the past that will help inform the way that we can defend the future.

2010—Hackers Reach Out and Touch the Real World

Although Stuxnet had been around since at least 2005, 2010 was the first year that it was made public. It was also the first time that attackers revealed they had the power to damage or destroy physical infrastructure. By secretly distributing malicious USB drives to scientists and workers at Iran’s Natanz nuclear research facility, attackers were able to breach the air gap—infecting logic controllers that were never connected to the public internet. By doing this, the attackers were able to damage and destroy centrifuges that were being used to enrich uranium.

Attacking a physical plant using malware is no mean feat. It wasn’t replicated again (as far as we know) until 2015, when Russian attackers were able to attack and destroy part of the Ukrainian power grid. Since then, these attacks have been picking up speed—2021 has already seen two such attacks, first in the form of the Colonial Pipeline hack, and then recently in the form of an attack on JBS

2014—Rogue Nation States Flex Their Cyber Muscle

Most countries have included cybersecurity amidst their intelligence agencies since the 1980s, but rogue nations began to gain parity with developed countries during the 2010s. This was dramatically proven during the 2014 Sony Pictures hack, in which North Korean hackers breached the entertainment company and leaked sensitive internal documents, including a number of unreleased films. 

Although it’s funny to imagine a bunch of North Koreans getting so angry at a movie studio that they decided to vandalize it over the internet, subsequent nation-state attacks haven’t been funny at all. Russian, Chinese, and North Korean cyberattacks have repeatedly struck major centers of government and industry, most recently in the form of the 2020 SolarWinds breach which affected victims ranging from US government agencies to companies like Intel and Microsoft.

2015—The Rise of Ransomware

Ransomware has been around in one form or another since the 1980s, but it hit its stride in 2015. Whereas approximately 200,000 ransomware strains were known to be active in 2012, over 700,000 strains were known to be active by the middle of the decade.

Ransomware is an enormous problem, and it’s getting worse. Attacks rose 21% in the first quarter of 2021, and 7% in April 2021 alone. Increasingly hackers are using malware that both steals and encrypts data—attackers can extort money for decryption, and then extort even more money by threatening to release or sell their stolen information. Because of this, 51% of victims will pay a ransom in the event of a cyberattack.

2016—Attackers Get Political

Was the 2016 election really five years ago? Although nation-state accounts had been extremely successful prior to 2016, this was the year that these attackers moved from stealing information to spreading mis-information. In addition to hacking the Democratic National Committee (DNC), Russian attackers also deliberately attempted to influence the 2016 election by using social media to inflame voters using lies and fake news.

Although 2016 was a first, it definitely wasn’t the last time that nation state attackers attempted to get involved in US politics. Groups from Russia and other states attempted to influence the outcome of the 2020 election, and they’ll most likely be back in 2022, 2024, and so on.


The 2017 Equifax data breach wasn’t the largest data breach in history (that would be the 2014 Yahoo breach, which comprised detailed information from an estimated 3 billion accounts) but it may be among the most damaging. The cyberattack was able to uncover the name, birthdays, addresses, and social security number’s of nearly 150 million customers, meaning that any attacker who has this information would be able to conduct widespread identity fraud. What’s worse, this information remains a ticking time bomb—four years after the fact, it’s yet to be used or sold.


2021 has already seen one historic cyberattack in the form of the Colonial Gas pipeline cyberattack, and the year is less than halfway through as of this writing. Hopefully, a trend towards increased attacks against infrastructure isn’t truly in the cards for the next decade, but if it is—hang on. Attacks against infrastructure can generate huge downstream information security problems for other industries, making them more reliant on backups and disaster recovery, and thus even more susceptible to cyberattacks that can target these data stores and hold them for ransom.

Here at Clarity Sec, we try to see the future of information security with the precision that our namesake suggests. Whether this includes an increase in infrastructure attacks, a new form of ransomware, or a proliferation of nation-state attackers, we’ll try to get ahead of the trend and help our customers prepare for it with their eyes open. Learn how partnering with Clarity Sec can help you defend yourself against a more hostile future for information security—contact us today! 

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The expertise and information that Clarity supplies via this website are supplied “as is”. Unless otherwise stated explicitly, Clarity does not make any representations or warranties, expressed or implied, regarding any of its services nor in general, including any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose; nor any implied warranties arising from a course of dealing or course of performance. Clarity services rely exclusively and strictly upon agreements duly concluded with clients, partners, suppliers, and other third parties, as relevant. 

Since the security environment in cyberspace, and specifically cyber threats, are dynamic and constantly changing, Clarity wishes to clarify that all information included on this website, whether supplied by Clarity or other parties in the framework of its supplying of services and expertise, does not constitute any representation or promise on the part of Clarity or on its behalf, that:

  1. Any list of sources or origins of cyber threats and/or the construction and design of potential threat references and/or construction of processes and/or methodology regarding cyber threats constitutes a final list and/or a total and/or a fully appropriate solution, nor that- 
  2. Such information implies exemption from exposure to any cyber attack or event, or being a victim thereof. 

Finally, Clarity shall have no liability whatsoever regarding any third-party terms, activities, or omissions that may be included in the information on this website.



In no respect or event shall Clarity, nor anyone on Clarity’ behalf, be liable for any indirect, special, consequential or incidental damages whatsoever (including, as relevant and without limitation, costs of procurement of substitute services, damages for loss of business profits, business interruption, loss of business information or data, or other pecuniary or reputational loss) arising out use of information on this website, or any other use of this website. Clarity is also exempt from any criminal liability with respect to the information supplied on this website or the use of the website.


Clarity fully retains intellectual property rights with respect to materials it has developed, notwithstanding the publication of said materials on this website. 


Data Protection Policy and Cookies Policy

This Data Protection Policy (hereinafter, “Policy”) applies to all activities of Clarity Sec Ltd. (hereinafter, “Clarity Sec” or “we”) with respect to the protection of personal data that Clarity Sec collects, processes and stores in the course of its business activities, including through its website (“Website”) and applications (“apps”), as well as any other electronic interfaces with data subjects.

Clarity Sec is registered in Israel, with its head office at 61 Jabutinsky St., Petach Tiqwa, 4918001, Israel Company Registrar No. 514508993. For any questions regarding the collection, processing or use of personal data relating to you (as explained below), please contact us via:

The language of this Policy is intended to be gender-neutral.

  1. General principles


  • ​We are committed to ensuring that your personal data and data privacy is protected in accordance with accepted practices, as well as according to our relevant legal obligations. This Policy explains your rights regarding the personal data we collect, process and use in our ongoing business operations, including via the website, and our use of safeguards to protect these rights. The Policy also applies to Clarity Sec’s use of cookies and tracking on the website interfaces, as specified in the Cookies Policy below.
  • ​Your personal data is collected and stored lawfully, fairly and transparently by Clarity Sec. In processing your data, we act in good faith, proportionately, and with the appropriate technical and organizational measures; and to mitigate the risks represented by the processing of the data.
  • ​Please be aware that the collection, processing and use of your personal data may be carried out by external data processors on our behalf during Clarity Sec’s ongoing business and our supply of services to you. Within the framework of our contracts with such external processors, we will require them to duly comply with relevant legal data protection rules and legislation applicable to the services they provide to us.
  • ​We may revise this Policy from time to time, and such changes shall come into effect from the moment we notify you of such changes and/or updates, either on the website or in some other reasonable manner.
  • ​For data subjects of the European Union, your rights under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) are safeguarded by Clarity Sec in accordance with the principles detailed below. Any questions regarding GDPR-related rights may be referred to us via the email address:
  1. Data Subject Rights

Subject to the applicable law that determines your status as a data subject and the jurisdiction in which you are located, you may have some or all of the following rights in respect of your personal data that we process:

  • ​Consent For data subjects for which processing by explicit consent is relevant, we will only process personal data if you have consented to such processing unless we are otherwise legally authorized or obliged to collect and further process personal data relating to you; and data will be processed solely based on your informed consent, used only for the purposes stated in the consent procedure (for example, to send Clarity Sec newsletters and the like), and within the scope outlined below.
  • Withdrawal of consentYou may revoke or withdraw your consent at any time by notifying us directly via the email address Upon receipt of your request, and subject to applicable laws, we will delete your data unless we are legally obliged or authorized to retain it and your consent to its processing, including for ongoing legitimate business interests of Clarity Sec. Withdrawal of your consent shall not influence the legality of the processing of your personal data carried out before the said withdrawal.
  • Minimization of data processing – We process and store a minimum of your personal data only as needed for providing our services to you.
  • The “right to be forgotten”– You may also request the erasure of all or part of your personal data held by Clarity Sec. Upon receiving your request via the email address, we will remove your personal data from all of our records as soon as reasonably possible and when technically feasible, unless there is an overriding legal interest or another legal basis for the continuation of the data processing. Please understand that in the event of deleting personal data upon your request, Clarity Sec may not be able to provide services further via the website and other interfaces, in whole or in part. In requesting data deletion, you irrevocably agree and waive any claim against Clarity Sec’s inability to provide said services or any interruption or malfunction resulting therefrom. Note that your request for deletion may also be rejected by Clarity Sec for lack of sufficient relevant information provided by you.
  • ​The “right to data correction”– You may also request the correction of all or part of your personal data held by Clarity Sec. Upon receiving your request via the email address, we will correct your personal data as soon as reasonably possible and when technically feasible, unless there is an overriding legal interest or another legal basis for the continuation of the data processing. In requesting data correction, you irrevocably agree and waive any claim against Clarity Sec’s inability to provide said services or any interruption or malfunction resulting therefrom. Note that your request for correction may also be rejected by Clarity Sec for lack of sufficient and/or relevant information provided by you.
  • ​Transparency and portability of personal data– You are entitled to ask Clarity Sec for information about the type of personal data about you that we process. You are also entitled to obtain it in a commonly-used and machine-readable form, subject to technical feasibility and lawfulness considerations. Please forward your request via the email address
  • Automated decision-making based on your personal data– Although the situation will be rare, we may make decisions concerning our business relationship based on automated processing operations without human intervention. We commit to giving you the opportunity to obtain human intervention in such a decision, express your point of view, and obtain an explanation of the decision. Please send your request regarding automated decision-making via the email address
  • Personal data relating to children and minors– We do not knowingly collect or process personal data relating to children and minors under 16 years unless legally obliged. If we become aware that personal data was transferred to us or collected by us relating to children and minors under 16 without the informed consent of a parent or legal guardian, we will delete such personal data without undue delay. Please forward any requests in this respect via the email address
  • ​In implementing these data protection rights, Clarity Sec is committed to providing a timely and transparent response to your requests. For any questions regarding these rights, please contact us via the email address
  1. Why Clarity Sec uses your personal data
    to provide the services requested by you and to process your requests and inquiries.
  • ​Your personal data is also used for the cookies and tracking utilised in the websites and apps to distinguish you from other users, to improve your use of these interfaces, and to ensure that content in the website and other relevant interfaces is presented most effectively for you.
  • ​Additional information about our use of cookies and tracking may be found in our Cookies Policy below.
  1. The types of personal data we collect and how we use it

​The personal data collected and used by Clarity Sec is limited strictly to the data necessary for us to provide you with services we supply in the course of our ongoing business services while operating under the relevant data protection and other regulatory obligations. Access to your data, including physical access, is limited to only those employees of Clarity Sec and third parties who have contracted with us and utilize it exclusively for the purposes outlined below.

  • ​There may be rare circumstances in which we ask you for sensitive personal information to provide you with services in our current area of ​​business. In such a case, we will only use this information for these purposes and will delete it when the purpose for which the information was collected or processed is terminated, unless there is a legal obligation not to delete this information
  • ​The data collected and processed is both general in nature, (for example, for technical purposes) and, depending on the services you select and utilise, personal data such as your name, contact details, some identifying numbers, the name of your internet provider, your IP address, browser type and system software, as well as the websites you have visited before being transferred to the Clarity Sec website, including keywords used for searches and the sites from which you have been transferred (e.g., search engine or linked content).
  • ​There may be circumstances in which automatic processing of your personal data may occur. As is true of most organizations operating websites, we gather certain information automatically and store it in log files. This information includes but is not limited to IP addresses, type of browser, Internet service provider, referring and exit pages, operating systems, a date/time stamp and clickstream data. We may use this information to analyze trends, administer the website and apps, track users’ movements through them and gather information about our user base. We may link this automatically-collected data to personal data for legitimate business purposes, such as to detect and prevent fraudulent activity; and other legally-authorized purposes.
  • ​When you receive services from Clarity Sec through the website and other electronic interfaces, you may also be directed to third-party processors. When we use such third-party processors, we rely on the third-party service provider to process personal data to provide certain services; and we contractually require them to comply with the data protection and other laws and regulations applicable to their processing services. Please check the respective service provider’s relevant data protection terms and compliance with applicable laws before using any such processor’s services. The same applies to any links to and from websites of third-party networks, advertisers and affiliates. Such third-party websites are governed solely by such third parties’ data protection policies: you are advised to be careful and check any such third party’s privacy policies and compliance with laws prior to supplying them with any of your personal data to them.
  • ​Please note that Clarity Sec may also disclose your data to a third party if we are required to do so by applicable law, court order or governmental regulation; or if such disclosure is otherwise authorized and necessary in support of any criminal or legal investigation or proceeding in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.
  • ​Clarity Sec may need to transfer the data submitted by you for the purposes described above to third parties in locations outside the country in which you are physically located, potentially including countries which may not require an adequate level of protection for your personal data compared with that provided in your country. By accepting this Policy, you consent to such data transfer as described in this section.
  1. Clarity’s protection of your personal data
  • We have taken all reasonable, industry-standard technical and organizational measures to protect your personal data against loss, alteration, theft or access by unauthorized third parties.
  • We will not sell, share, transfer or use the data we collect from you for purposes other than those purposes stated expressly in this Policy.
  • We will delete your personal data where the business purpose for which the data was being collected or processed ceases to apply or if applicable, data protection rules require us to delete such personal data.
  • The above notwithstanding, Clarity Sec will not be liable or responsible in any way, including financially, for any damage or loss resulting from the improper use or any breach of security leading to the accidental or unlawful destruction, loss, alteration, unauthorized disclosure of, or access to, your personal data. For more detailed information on the limitation of Clarity Sec’s liability, please refer to the Disclaimer on the Clarity Sec website.
  1. Cookies Policy 
  • This Cookies Policy applies to all activities of Clarity Sec with respect to the cookies that we collect and store in the course of our business activities, including through the website and other electronic interfaces with data subjects that we operate.
  • Important note – Use of the Clarity Sec websites by you indicates your acceptance of this Cookies Policy.
  • What’s a cookie? A cookie is a small file sent from a website, which is then stored by your web browser. The information in the cookie can be used to recognize your last session with Clarity Sec. Cookies cannot install malicious software, such as viruses on your device, and they do not store your personal data or account information.
  • Why do we use cookies? We use cookies to save and maintain Clarity Sec users’ settings and selected preferences during browsing sessions, for saving repeating users’ preferences for future use (e.g. geographical location, accessibility and language selections and preferences), and for statistical analysis of the performance of websites and apps, trend analysis, and monitoring and identifying errors.
  • Where do cookies come from? Cookies originate from two sources: 1st -party and 3rd -party. This classification refers to the internet domain that is placing the cookie.
    • 3rd-party cookies are cookies set by a domain other than that of the site being visited by the user. If a user visits a website and another entity sets a cookie through that site, this would be a 3rd -party cookie.
    • 1st-party cookies are those set by a website that is being visited by the user at the time.
  • Opting in When you first visit the websites and apps, you will be given the option to accept or decline the use of cookies. You can also control the use of cookies at the individual browser level. Instructions for managing cookie usage can be found for the following browsers at
    • Google Chrome 
    • Internet Explorer 
    • Firefox
    • Safari
    • Safari Mobile
    • Opera
  • If you do not opt into cookies, you may still use the websites and apps, but your ability to use some features may be limited or unavailable. Many browsers allow a private mode to be activated through which the cookies are always erased after the visit. You hereby irrevocably and unconditionally waive any claim or demand in this regard. If you wish to opt out of interest-based advertising, click <>. If you are located in the European Union, click <>.
  • Do Not Track/Privacy Mode is a function that allows users to opt out from being tracked by websites for any purpose, including the use of analytics services, advertising networks and social platforms.
  • If you have enabled the “do not track” function in your browser, you will not be tracked. This is in addition to you opting out of the aggregation and analysis of data for the website and app statistics.
  • Categories of cookies we use– Clarity Secplaces a high priority on the security and confidentiality of the information stored in the persistent cookies we use. Our categories are as follows:
    • ​Performance cookies allow publishers to track your behaviour as a site visitor, measure site performance, and improve your user experience.
    • ​Functionality cookies – There are different types of cookies in this category, and they are used to customise the site for your personal use using the options you specify, such as your language preference.
    • ​Targeting cookies – These cookies help you track relevant ads for you. They help record your use of these ads, including limits on how often you view them.
  • Any questions? For any questions about the use of cookies by Clarity, please contact us via the email address