HBO was hacked recently and it appears that the hackers got away with over 1.5 terabytes of data. In layman’s terms that are 1.5 trillion bytes of data. It is a huge amount even for a major company. There also appears to be that at least partial or complete episodes of major shows on the network were stolen including some information about their huge hit Game of Thrones. No one is sure right now the extent of it since HBO is not talking. And I cannot blame them.
At this point in the breach, they need to keep the details of the data secret. However, if there is information stolen that relates to partners or customers or employees they do need to be forthcoming with this. So these other victims can take measures to defend themselves.
The question must be asked why was HBO hacked? What did the cyber criminals hope to gain? For HBO their data which is their images, sound files, scripts, and entire shows is their lifeblood. Information or content is their very reason for existence. It should be guarded like Fort Knox. Was it? At this point, we don’t know.
A while back I was asked to consult with a media company in California (not HBO) on the selection of a new security appliance. They were responsible for distributing and collecting data from different entities. Their cyber security was very weak. I immediately recognized the need to perform a complete security audit and offered them this service along with my assessment of what they needed to do to protect themselves. I explained the critical nature of their security lapses and how we could take care of them.
Unfortunately, they did not take me up on this. They decided to go with a cheap security appliance and leave it at that. This was an egregious dereliction of their duty to protect the company’s data. I cannot say what happened to them. But if I was a customer or partner of this company I would not do business with them until they could prove to me they had taken all reasonable measures to make themselves secure.
Unfortunately for many American companies, this is very common. Once again as I have talked about before here. Your vigilance and attention to the just the basic problems will get you a long way towards a secure environment. Take a look at my simple quiz on basic cyber security procedures and see where you rate. Remember these simple procedures you can start implementing today can get you on the road to security and safety.
Another result of the HBO hack it appears that they also stole personal information on at least one of the executives of the company. As you can see this type of activity can get real personal very fast.