A few days ago, cable television network HBO confirmed that someone had hacked into their servers and gained access to a significant amount of data. Among other things, the cyber sleuths appear to have gotten their hands on scripts for upcoming episodes of the wildly popular series Game of Thrones. Unfortunately for network (and its droves of faithful followers), details of never-before-seen footage has now been published all over the internet.
“HBO recently experienced a cyber incident, which resulted in the compromise of proprietary information,” the company said in a statement.“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.”
The total extent of the damage has yet to be discovered, but according to the hackers, the amount of data stolen is upwards of 1.5 terabytes. This would indicate that the Game of Thrones script isn’t all the company has to worry about. Chances are these criminals also got ahold of other sensitive data, including that associated with employees and other financials. So far, those behind the attack have been leaking the data online in dribs and drabs. It also appears they’re taunting the network in the process:
“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.”
Obviously HBO executives aren’t thrilled about having the plot line of one of their biggest shows leaked for all to see, but in reality the real problem they’re facing is what will happen should things like internal emails and personal information of employees and possibly even customers also end up being leveraged. A similar situation occurred just a few years ago when Sony was hacked, and the company is still cleaning up the mess. If HBO’s hackers are telling the truth, this breach could be much more significant.
Had HBO employed the use of automated cybersecurity incident response, there’s a good chance that we wouldn’t be writing about this situation right now. The fact is, as many big name corporations have learned the hard way, monitoring systems simply aren’t enough. And while the details of exactly how the hackers were able to gain access haven’t yet been released, if the network had a more sophisticated defense in place, chances are they would have been discovered and stopped right away – possibly before they had the opportunity to grab the data and go.
With a cybersecurity strategy that’s powered by intelligent automation, HBO could have deployed an army of robots, standing watch 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. This technology is capable of fielding hundreds of thousands of incidents with speed and precision, quickly detecting potential attacks and automatically responding to eradicate the problem and mitigate damages. Savvy hackers who manage to find their way in are stopped in their tracks, before they have the chance to wreak havoc.
These situations serve as an important reminder that nobody is safe from cyber-attacks. They also serve as a great opportunity for business leaders to reevaluate the current state of their cybersecurity posture.
If you aren’t 100% positive that your defense is strong enough to withstand an attack like the one that HBO has suffered, the time to take action is now – before you end up becoming a victim. You can start by laying a strong foundation and using technology to fight fire with fire. Click here to launch your free 30 day trial of Ayehu and be proactive about keeping your organization safe.