HBO suffers further hacking woes

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HBO has recently become a victim of online hacking, when their social media accounts were taken hostage in August.

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HBO’s latest hacking headache

The entertainment network, HBO, was subject to a cyber security attack recently, when a group referring to themselves as OurMine took over their Facebook and Twitter accounts. They also took control of the accounts for some of HBO’s popular shows, such as Game of Thrones.

This comes not long after hackers stole a reported 1.5TB of data from HBO. It’s reported that the hacker, or group, referring to itself as Mr Smith, requested $6m in a threatening ransom video. Part of the trove of data stolen included season two Westworld schedules, emails, and personal details of actors. The hack and what’s released therefore have ramifications not just for the network, in terms of value and reputation, but also for the employees and actors in any way associated with their productions.

To make matters worse, HBO documents and episodes for shows that hadn’t yet been broadcast, like Curb Your Enthusiasm, have been released following successful cyber security breaches. A leaked Game of Thrones episode got fans in a frenzy recently, for which four were arrested, all of which were former or current employees of a company in Mumbai that manages the show for a streaming provider.

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Spanish and Nordic streaming users also caught an episode before it was scheduled to air, allowing it to be copied and distributed online before it was taken down. Once leaks are out there, they’re almost impossible to mop up or sweep under the carpet.

The future of cybersecurity threats

Organisations should be involved in cyber security at an executive level in conjunction with IT departments, to ensure greater effectiveness when it comes to strategy. Provisions should be in place, such as file integrity monitoring software, from the likes of, and solid, robust monitoring of all systems.

OurMine, claiming responsibility for the social media attack, has taken to breaching security on numerous accounts, including reputable Twitter accounts, such as those of Sundar Pichai, Google’s chief executive, Jim Wales, Wikipedia’s co-founder, and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg. It’s clear that these hackers mean business and that their methods evolve quickly, so any attempts to prevent and manage cybersecurity attacks needs to be quicker, smarter and more adaptable.

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