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Is this what we have to do nowadays to prevent the problems caused by leaks and hacks? Is this really what we need to stoop to?
It seems so…
The popular HBO network was recently hacked and had an incredible 1.5 terabytes of unreleased footage, scripts and other sensitive documents leaked. In a bid to prevent spoilers from being released, HBO are reportedly creating multiple endings to the popular TV show, Game of Thrones; and who can blame them, I guess?
The hackers released loads of confidential information, including an unaired episode of Game of Thrones, alongside other popular shows. The hackers boasted about the data breach by posting taunting messages on the company’s social media before releasing stolen staff login credentials for the company’s social media accounts.
HBO enlisted the help of a top security firm and the FBI itself to investigate the breach and control the damage. It seems HBO are going above and beyond to stop hackers from leaking information by creating multiple endings to Game of Thrones to ensure that leakers can’t spoil the ending for its millions of fans.
For the fans, this may prove to be a welcome move…
Programming president for HBO, Casey Bloys, confirmed plans to film multiple endings as the 8th season is set to be the last:
“I know ‘Game of Thrones,’ the ending, they’re going to shoot multiple versions so that nobody really knows what happens… You have to do that on a long show because when you’re shooting something, people know. So they’re going to shoot multiple versions so that there’s no real definitive answer until the end.”
This way, even staff and the actors won’t know the ending and can’t accidentally leak what happens in the ending.
But I guess one of the endings will be correct. So, what’s to stop them all being leaked and then it becomes a game of guessing which one is right?
Due to leaks, almost all of the major plots for season 7 were released, causing disappointment for fans who would prefer to watch the story unravel as planned. Of course, as long as there is information, leaks are still bound to happen; whether by malicious hackers or by accident. Season 7 saw one episode accidentally released early in Spain by HBO itself, and another was stolen from HBO’s Indian distributor.
Filming multiple endings can be common for a major TV series apparently. AMC filmed multiple death scenes for its popular “The Walking Dead” series in a bid to throw off leakers. But is this what we have to resort to in order to thrash these data leaks? Unless there are any game-changing cybersecurity measures introduced, it seems so.
The HBO hacking shows that companies of all shapes and sizes can be vulnerable to hacking, and no one is impenetrable. As hackers work in anonymity and can attack from anywhere, companies and organisations can only do their best to build a strong cybersecurity system and have a structured and efficient damage control plan in place.
Organisations perhaps need to accept they’re constantly under threat of cyberattacks and may have already become victim to at least one already. However, this doesn’t mean they should give up – they need to take steps to mitigate damage to themselves and the data subjects whose personal data they hold and use.
Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/121483302@N02/13473480295
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