The entertainment industry has become an increasing target over recent years. Due to the high revenue stream, there are many reasons to steal data from companies such as Sony and HBO, including blackmail. With ‘Game of Thrones’ currently being one of HBO’s most popular TV shows, with reports of over 10 million viewers for the first episode of the much awaited season 7 in July, shows how popular they are. It also seems this may lead to more popularity with hackers as well as viewers. 1.5 terabytes of data have reportedly been stolen from HBO, although details are still sketchy as to what this data actually is. Reportedly a script for Episode 4 of GoT, which airs next week is part of the data. It has been reported that they have also leaked episodes of other HBO shows including ‘Ballers’ and ‘Room 104’.
Callen Gibbs, Cyber Security Specialist of CNS, said: "This isn’t the first time the entertainment industry has been targeted, in fact, it is not even the first time HBO and ‘Game of Thrones’ have been targeted, and I very much doubt it will be the last. In 2015 it was reported that four episodes of season 5 were leaked online before they premiered. Earlier this year Netflix was targeted with episodes of their latest season of ‘Orange is the new black’ were released online. The difference between these two so far seems to be the motive. The Netflix hack seemed to be a monetary motive with the hackers trying to blackmail Netflix before releasing the episodes. So far there has been no ransom demand to HBO reported."
With the rise of ransomware and high publicity hacks taking up much of the media this year, it is time to start looking at your defences. It highlights that even multi-million / multi-billion dollar industries are not safe from attack, likely even bigger targets.
It is still unknown who is behind the latest hack and what are their motives, other than publicity. There is a good chance that more data will slowly be leaked online, and the question remains who and why?