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On 27th July 2017, cybercriminals reportedly hacked their way into HBO’s database, stealing a gigantic 1.5 terabytes of data.
HBO (full name The Home Box Office) produces some of the world’s best known and critically acclaimed TV ‘series, documentaries, movies, sporting events’ and more. The stolen data includes video footage, internal documents and emails.
So far, no ransom has been demanded for the safe return of the data, leading the company to fear the worst: leaks.
Two weeks later, on the 6thGame of Thrones. The script has not been verified but actors have already suggested that HBO should keep “hard copies” of the script for easier guarding.
Various sources are reporting that several unreleased episodes have also been leaked.
The hacking group call themselves ‘little.finger66′; perhaps a nod to one of the Game of Thrones’ characters, Petyr Baelish, who is also known as ‘Little Finger’.
HBO and fans are said to be outraged over the leak. Fans are confused as to why the hackers would commit such a crime for no apparent financial or material gain. With no ransom, it’s possible the hackers have no other reason for stealing and releasing the information other than to create chaos.
As a popular saying goes: ‘some people just like to watch the world burn’.
The company reportedly takes security extremely seriously. A recent incident saw one of their star actresses get into hot water and almost fired after revealing her newly cast role a little too soon. As soon as HBO became aware of the hack, they immediately began an internal forensic investigation with the help of the U.S. F.B.I and cybersecurity specialists, Mandiant. It’s believed the hacker managed to get through “multiple points of entry”, suggesting a highly sophisticated attack.
The huge attack is reminiscent of the Sony hack that saw leaked emails cause huge embarrassment to managers who were revealed to pay female actresses much less than their male co-stars.
However, HBO’s own attack is around seven-times larger than the Sony attack. The company have instructed the same cybersecurity firm who helped with the Sony hack to investigate HBO’s, alongside the FBI.
Mandiant has already reached out to Google, asking the giant search engine to scrub any leaked data they may come across: any internal company documents, and “masses of copyrighted items including documents, images, videos and sound”.
HBO boss, Richard Plepler, has attempted to reassure staff by announcing he does “not believe that our e-mail system as a whole has been compromised”.
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