HBO Not Above Cyberattacks
July 31st, 2017
HBO the Latest Hollywood Production Hit by Cybercriminals
Richard Plepler, Chairman and CEO of HBO, confirmed Monday that cyberattackers targeted original programming involving the network’s most popular shows, including the much acclaimed Game of Thrones series.
Currently, it seems details of episodes in shows including Ballers, Room 104, and Game of Thrones were affected by the attack and may soon see their details released online. Even more may be soon forthcoming as at least 1.5 terabytes of data have been reported stolen.
The network released a statement saying “HBO recently experienced a cyber incident, which resulted in the compromise of proprietary information. We immediately began investigating the incident and are working with law enforcement and outside cybersecurity firms. Data protection is a top priority at HBO, and we take seriously our responsibility to protect the data we hold.”
Plepler also dispersed a company-wide email detailing the incident:
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.
The hackers seem to gloating about their theft in spite of HBO’s determined efforts to prevent early releases of its content. On Sunday an anonymous email was sent to a variety of reporters seemingly to raise awareness of their attack. “Hi to all mankind. The greatest leak of cyber space era is happening. What’s its name? Oh I forget to tell. Its HBO and Game of Thrones……!!!!!! You are lucky to be the first pioneers to witness and download the leak. Enjoy it & spread the words. Whoever spreads well, we will have an interview with him. HBO is falling.”
This is the first time HBO has fallen victim to cybercriminals but it will not be the last time it will suffer attacks. Although it can be difficult for even the most determined networks to defend against persistent attackers, one solution we suggest is Identity Access Management (IAM).
Identity Access Management could have mitigated or even prevented such sensitive information from becoming leaked. If the studio engaged in intensive IAM efforts, including Multifactor Authentication (MFA) and Single Sign-On (SSO), the agents would have a much more difficult time penetrating the proprietary knowledge HBO held and may have even made it near impossible. Find out more by contacting one of our representatives.