Marketing Tools: 10 Small Businesses Hit by Hackers

Hacking Small Businesses

Hacked small businesses are rarely in the news. Your SMB clients might hear about the breach at Target, but they never hear about the local auto dealer who lost more than $20,000 to cybercrime.

This gives SMBs a false sense of security. They think they are too small for hackers to bother. The truth is that they are breached far more often than large firms.

To help get clients interested in your security services, show them examples of attacks that happened to companies like theirs.

Here are 10 examples. Feel free to use them in your emails, website, or anywhere else.


  • City Newsstand - A trojan penetrated the point-of-sales systems of two magazine shops in Chicago. The owner lost $22,000 after MasterCard discovered the breach and demanded he hire a forensic investigator.
  • Green Ford Sales - A car dealership in Kansas lost $23,000 after hackers broken into its network and stole bank account info. In less than 24 hours, the thieves added nine new employees to the dealership’s payroll and paid them $63,000. Only some of the transactions could be canceled in time.

Attorneys and Banks

  • Efficient Services Escrow Group - An escrow firm in California shut its doors and let go its staff after a Trojan enabled thieves to wire more than $1.5 million from its accounts. Regulators gave the company only three days to recover the funds. The bank that processed the transactions denied responsibility.
  • Canadian Law Firms - Chinese hackers looking to derail a business deal worth $40 billion targeted the weakest link in the chain: the Toronto law offices handling the deal.
  • Minnesota Attorney - An angry man in Minnesota hacked the wifi account of a local attorney and emailed child pornography to the man’s colleagues.

Medical Offices

  • Adult & Pediatric Dermatology –A Massachusetts provider of dermatology services agreed to pay $150,000 in penalties for violations of the Health Information Protection and Accountability Act (HIPAA). The violations were discovered after a thumb drive was stolen from an employee’s vehicle.
  • Presbyterian Anesthesia Associates – A doctor’s office in North Carolina had to alert nearly 10,000 patients that their medical records had been compromised. The records were being held by a third-party provider. Hackers exploited a software vulnerability on the provider’s server and stole a key to decrypt the information.


  • Bojangles - A fast-food franchise in Tennessee had its wifi system compromised, resulting in the theft of customer credit card information from several locations. Customers received fraudulent charges on their cards, and the Bojangles corporate office issued a statement saying the breach was limited to “a small number of restaurants operated by a single franchisee.”
  • Restaurant Depot – A wholesaler in New York experienced a second point-of-sale breach in which customers’ credit card numbers were stolen. The first breach affected more than 200,000 people. A forensics investigation found that hackers breached the system and injected malware.

General Business

  • 13 Seattle Businesses  - At least 13 local businesses had their wifi networks breached after three men turned a car into a rolling hacker operation in Seattle. The men stole credit card and payroll information to transfer funds to accounts they controlled and spent tens-of-thousands of dollars on computer equipment.

Do you have good examples of hacked small businesses? Let us know in the comments!





Written by Calyptix

 - February 10, 2014

About Us

Calyptix Security helps small and medium offices secure their networks so they can raise profits, protect investments, and control technology. Our customers do not waste time with security products designed for large enterprises. Instead, we make it easy for SMBs to protect and manage networks of up to 350 users.
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