HBO Suffers Cyber Attack Resulting in Leaked Game of Thrones Script

Media Division | July 31, 2017

The media and entertainment industry tends to be quite a frequent target for cyber attackers. Not only can they steal media and data to sell it directly, but they will also often target these types of organizations to try and ransom their data back to them. There are several different organizations within this industry that attackers can target, such as production facilities, networks, and distribution. In a recent case of this, HBO, one of the bigger names in networks recently suffered a cyber attack that led to a consequent leak.

What Was Leaked from the Attack

HBO is quite a well-known channel all around the nation, as it airs extremely popular shows, with one of the largest being Game of Thrones (GOT). You have likely seen all of the posts going around on social media as of late in regard to the new episodes of this show being aired. Well, in the recent incident, the attackers were able to make off with an alleged partial script of next week’s GOT episode, titled “Spoils of War.” Although, this is not the only thing that the attackers were able to purloin, as the theft accumulated in a total of 1.5 terabytes of data from HBO’s servers. Apparently, this had included new episodes of Room 104 and Ballers, which the hackers had leaked online along with the script. There do not appear to have been GOT episodes included, but this is not necessarily certain, as the hackers have not released all that was stolen and they are promising more to come. Being that filming for the new season of GOT completed a while ago, it is possible that they were able to make away with some of these episodes. HBO had acknowledged that they suffered a breach, but have not released further specifics. They said in a statement, “We immediately began investigating the incident and are working with law enforcement and outside cyber security firms. Data protection is a top priority at HBO, and we take seriously our responsibility to protect the data we hold.”

Not the First Leak

This is not the first time that HBO has suffered a leak, nor the first time that it has involved GOT. Back in 2015, there had been an incident where the first four episodes of season 5 had been leaked onto a torrenting site. These episodes appeared to have originated from screener copies sent early to reviewers. There was also another time where a European division of HBO had accidentally put an episode online early, leading to a flurry of pirated copies being posted on torrent sites.

The Need for Better Cyber Security in the Media and Entertainment Industry

As mentioned above, the media and entertainment industry can be a very large target for cyber criminals, which means that these organizations must ensure that they have comprehensive security in place. There are numerous tools and services that organizations can employ to protect their data and assets. Cyber intelligence can provide proactive threat profiling and defense, monitoring can immediately detect unauthorized access or anomalies, and of course, there is also the necessity of basics like antivirus and firewalls. Attackers have become adept at insidiously breaching networks and systems, or even using brute force attacks to breach. With the media and entertainment industry being regularly in cyber attacker’s crosshairs, they must take a step back and review their cyber security to discover any holes. Massive Alliance offers a large array of tools and services that can help any organization to better protect their data, assets, and funds.

Massive's Media Division publishes timely news and insights based on current events, trends, and actionable cross-industry expertise.