The recent cyber attack against HBO impacted its most famous TV series “Game of Thrones” which shows that Hollywood still remains a vulnerable target for hackers and cyber-criminals. On Monday HBO’s chairman and CEO, Richard Plepler, sent an email to all the HBO employees alerting them regarding the security breach. The email stated,
“As most of you have probably heard by now, there has been a cyber incident directed at the company which has resulted in some stolen proprietary information, including some of our programming,Any intrusion of this nature is obviously disruptive, unsettling, and disturbing for all of us. I can assure you that senior leadership and our extraordinary technology team, along with outside experts, are working round the clock to protect our collective interests. The efforts across multiple departments have been nothing short of herculean. It is a textbook example of quintessential HBO teamwork. The problem before us is unfortunately all too familiar in the world we now find ourselves a part of. As has been the case with any challenge we have ever faced, I have absolutely no doubt that we will navigate our way through this successfully.”
HBO refrained from commenting any further on this incident. A spokesperson said that the company was working with law enforcement and cyber security companies to investigate this cyber-attack.
It is unclear how the hackers got the access to HBO’s data, however, hackers sent an ambiguous email to different media outlets including the Los Angeles Times, the message stated
“Hi to all mankind, The greatest leak of cyber space era is happening. What’s its name? Oh, I forget to tell. It’s HBO and Game of Thrones!!!!!! You are lucky to be the first pioneers to witness and download the leak.”
It is also unclear that how much data was stolen and potentially leaked by the hacker, however, Entertainment Weekly reported that hackers published one episode each of “Ballers” and “Room 104,” as well as the alleged script to next week’s Game of Throne episode. Entertainment Weekly was also the first to report about this intrusion.
Clearly HBO is not the first media outlet to face this kind on intrusion. In May, hackers claimed that they had stolen Walt Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” and demanded a ransom from the company, however, the hack turned out to be a hoax as said by Disney’s CEO Robert Iger. Not only this but Netflix was also hacked by a cyber criminal known as the “dark overlord” who uploaded the episodes from the new season of ‘Orange is the new Black’ after the company refused to pay the ransom.
Game of Thrones is already one of the most popular targets as according to a website known as TorrentFreak the season 7 premiere of the Game of Thrones was pirated 90 million times. In 2015, the first four episodes of the Game of Thrones season 5 were leaked to file-sharing sites a day before the first episode aired.
With the advancement of technology, some obstructions will definitely be encountered by individuals. One can not bring an end to cyber crimes but the effects can be mitigated and preventative measures can be taken to avoid such situations.