Computer history - 2021

Updated: 07/31/2022 by Computer Hope

Major computer events in 2021

One of the biggest, if not the biggest, security vulnerabilities in computer history was announced on December 9, when notes on an Apache log4j vulnerability were released. The vulnerability could give an attacker full access to a server with minimal effort.

2021 computer and technology top terms

The following are some of the top computer and technology-related terms in alphabetical order that were introduced or popularized during 2021.

Computer and technology-related events in 2021

Twitter announced on January 8, 2021 that Donald Trump's Twitter account was permanently suspended, making him the first president to be banned from a social network.

The most expensive NFT piece titled Everydays: the First 5000 Days by Mike Winkelmann (aka Beeple) sold at a Christie's auction for $69,346,250 on March 11, 2021.

Microsoft logo

On April 12, 2021, Microsoft announced it was acquiring Nuance in a $16 billion deal.

China announces in May it is cracking down on bitcoin and other cryptocurrency miners and not allowing them to mine crypto currencies.

In June 2021, El Salvador became the first country to adopt bitcoin as legal tender.

Tim Berners-Lee sold the World Wide Web source code for $5.4 million as an NFT (non-fungible token) in June 2021.

In July 2021, the rickroll video, Never Gonna Give You Up, hit 1 billion views.

In October 2021, Valve announced its Steam platform would no longer host blockchain games.

The emote PogChamp was removed from Twitch in 2021.

New computer products and services introduced in 2021

Apple released the Apple AirTag.

Microsoft announced on July 14, 2021 its new monthly subscription-based service called Windows 365. The service would allow anyone with any device to run Microsoft Windows through the cloud.

YouTube introduced YouTube Shorts in July 2021.

Samsung released the Z Flip3 and Z Fold3 in August 2021.

Apple released iOS 15, which introduced SharePlay.

Apple released their new iPhone 13 models on September 24, 2021.

Tesla, who had previously used NVIDIA chips, unveiled its custom silicon, the Tesla D1 chip, for use in the self-driving Autopilot AI found in all Tesla cars.

Android version 12 was released on October 4, 2021.

Microsoft released Microsoft Windows 11 on October 5, 2021.

Apple introduced updates to their custom silicon on October 18, 2021, the Apple M1 Pro and M1 Max processors.

The Google Pixel 6 was released on October 28, 2021, and introduced Google's custom silicon, the Google Tensor chip.

The Samsung Galaxy S21, S21+, and S21 Ultra were released in 2021.

Security breaches and leaks in 2021

The popular Iranian social messaging platform Raychat had its entire database of over 150 million users leaked online.

In January it was discovered that the Chinese startup Socialarks exposed over 400 GB of over 214 million users personal information it had scraped from Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

The PSafe company discovered the largest data breach in Brazilian history of over 223 million people after it announced it found the data being offered for free on a darknet forum.

Pakistani company Bykea leaks more than 400 million records of personal information.

Hackers leaked 70 gigabytes of personal user information (over 4.1 million accounts) on the social media site Gab on March 10, 2021.

On April 3, 2021, over 553 million Facebook users' information was posted online from a 2019 leak. The details included the users' full name, location, birthday, e-mail address, phone number, and relationship status.

On April 8, 2021, LinkedIn announced that a user had scraped their database after it was discovered a hacker was attempting to sell a database containing 700 million LinkedIn users' information.

In May, security researchers discovered more than 100 million Android users information exposed because of a cloud service misconfiguration that was used by 23 different apps.

In May 2021, the U.S. Colonial Pipeline company was a victim of ransomware, attacked by the DarkSide hacker group. The attack caused Colonial Pipeline to temporarily shut down their main oil pipeline, which supplies 45% of the fuel for U.S. East Coast states. DarkSide demanded a ransom of $4.4 million, which the company paid. However, the U.S. Department of Justice was able to recover $2.3 million of that ransom payment.

Comparitech security researchers discovered an unprotected database maintained by Cognyte, a cybersecurity firm, with more than 5 billion records aggregated from previous breaches.

Starting in June 2021, Western Digital's My Book Live devices began getting hit with a data deletion exploit that allowed malicious users to remotely erase all the drives' data.

The single biggest global ransomware attack infected MSPs (Management Service Provider) using Kaseya on July 2, 2021. The attack infected thousands of companies in at least 17 different countries.

A hacker announced in August that he had 40 to 50 million T-Mobile customers' information. Information stolen included customer names, addresses, social security numbers, and drivers licence information.

A security researcher discovered a Thailand database of over 106 million Thailand visitors had been unsecured and accessible to anyone for over 10 years in August 2021.

On November 5, 2021, Volodymyr Diachenko, a security researcher, discovered a Stripchat database consisting of nearly 200 million records of users and models information.

GoDaddy announced on November 17, 2021, that up to 1.2 million of its customers information was exposed to hackers after they gained access to the company's managed WordPress hosting.

Discontinued products and services in 2021

Microsoft announced that on March 31, 2021, Cortana would no longer work on Android, iOS, and smart speakers.

On April 9, 2021, Logitech announced it was discontinuing the Logitech Harmony universal remote controls.

Microsoft replaced the original version of Microsoft Edge with a new Chromium-based one as part of a security update on April 13, 2021.

Yahoo! announced that Yahoo! Answers was shutting down on May 4, 2021.

LG announced in April that it was closing its mobile phone and smartphone business.

Google announced Google Hangouts would be shut down in 2021.

Houseparty was shut down by Epic Games in October 2021 after the app came under scrutiny because of alleged security vulnerabilities.

In 2021, the Galaxy Note series of phones was discontinued.

Computer company events in 2021

Hewlett-Packard announced it was buying the gaming accessory brand HyperX for $425 million from Kingston on February 24, 2021.

The once popular West coast chain Fry's Electronics announced it was going out of business on February 24, 2021.

Epic Games announced it had bought Tonic Games, the developer of Fall Guys, for an undisclosed price on March 2, 2021.

NortonLifeLock announced in August it is merging with Avast for $8 billion to create a larger cyber security firm.

Facebook announced it would rebrand its company name to Meta on October 28, 2021.

Intuit completed its acquisition of Mailchimp on November 1, 2021 for approximately $6.3 billion.

Skillsoft announced on December 22, 2021 that it would acquire Codecademy for approximately $525 million.

Computer pioneer deaths in 2021

Charles Geschke

Charles Geschke passed away on April 16, 2021 (Age: 81).

Dan Kaminsky passed away on April 23, 2021 (Age: 42).

John McAfee passed away on June 23, 2021 (Age: 75).

Clive Sinclair passed away on September 16, 2021 (Age: 81).

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