Usually, when hackers go after media and entertainment, it’s with the purpose of extortion.
For example, after hackers infiltrated Netflix earlier this year, they threatened to leak the most recent season of Orange is the New Black if they did not receive a ransom. In other cases, such as the infamous Sony Pictures breach, hackers have a political agenda, and in 2014 it was to get a satirical film about North Korea out of theaters.
But like many an episode of Game of Thrones, the new hack against HBO has left knots in our stomachs as we wonder what’s going to happen next.
1.5 terabytes have been compromised
Even by Sony Pictures standards, which saw about 200 gigabytes of data compromised, this breach is huge. Staggeringly, 1.5 terabytes are believed to have been stolen by a hacking group appropriately named “little.finger66.” It has also been confirmed as of this writing that the fourth episode of Game of Thrones season seven has leaked along with full episodes of Ballers, Barry and Room 104, as well as the personal information of a senior HBO executive. According to Variety, a security contractor also believes that “thousands” of internal company documents were compromised.
The fact that no ransom has been posted seems to indicate that this breach, like the Sony Pictures intrusion, is politically motivated. According to Newsweek, the hackers responsible may be scheming to “release potentially compromising data (including internal memos and email correspondence) for HBO and its investors.”
The breach was sophisticated, according to The Hollywood Reporter, and there appears to have been multiple entry points. In other words, this most likely wasn’t the work of a die-hard GoT fan who just couldn’t wait to watch the next episode.
The FBI is currently investigating the breach.
The simple truth: Every business is a target
Whether you’re a billion-dollar entertainment company, a medium-sized bank, a small health care practice or a brand manufacturer, you have something that hackers want. This could be trade secrets. It could be personal information. It could just be that they want to force your hand with ransomware, DDoS or some other form of cyber extortion.
Whatever the case, detecting threats early and responding to them swiftly will help keep your personal data, company information and your financial reserves secure. Because – spoiler alert – hackers aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.
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