HBO Hackers Threaten to Leak this Sunday

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A major hack against HBO was reported earlier this week. Now, the hackers are claiming HBO isn’t taking them seriously and are threatening to release parts of the leak this coming Sunday.

Earlier this week, it was reported that hackers gained access to the networks of HBO and stole 1.5 terabyte of data. It quickly became known that the hack was bigger than anticipated, as the size of the data is over 7 times larger than the disastrous 2014 Sony hack. HBO is currently investigating the incident together with law enforcement and third-party cybersecurity firms.

The hackers have already gradually begun to release the leak as proof of their hack. A script of an upcoming episode of Game of Thrones and a few unaired episodes of other shows, such as Ballers and Room 104 can be found online. However, signs are pointing to the hack has caused more problems than just the leaking of a few unreleased episodes. HBO has sent a DMCA take-down notice to Google asking that all links pertaining to the leak to be removed from their search engine. The notice explains that the hackers stole quote

“thousands of Home Box Office (HBO) internal company documents”

“masses of copyrighted items including documents, images, videos and sound.”

To add fuel to the fire, the hackers have also published a document with personal information regarding a senior HBO executive. The content apparently also includes “access information to dozens of online accounts, including paid newspaper subscriptions, online banking, and personal health services”.

In an email coming from the supposed hacker or group of hackers, The Hollywood Reporter writes that the email speaks of the aim of the attack against HBO together with new threats.

“It’s just about money. We have weeks of negotiations with HBO officials, but they broke their promises and want to play with us…So we have one option….Wait till Sunday. HBO is Falling………..”

The above quote taken from the email explains the hackers’ motive. This can be interpreted that a ransom demand has been made to HBO which the company declined. In another email as reported by Business Standard, the hackers claim that they’ll “release the leak gradually every week”. It seems that the next leak on Sunday will most likely be internal HBO emails.

We live in a time where online leaks and other cybercrimes are common and prosper. Businesses must understand the importance of cybersecurity before the damage is done. How do you guys think this hack was able to succeed against a large corporation?