WASHINGTON: HBO has become the latest victim in Hollywood entertainment companies to suffer a cyber attack.
According to Entertainment Weekly, several months after episodes of Netflix's ‘Orange Is the New Black’ were leaked online early, the pay cabler has been hit by hackers specifically targetting HBO's original programming.
Among the episodes leaked were one episode of Ballers, one episode of Room 104 and, allegedly, the script for Game of Thrones' next episode, the fourth episode of season seven.
The network issued a statement regarding the matter, which read, “HBO recently experienced a cyber incident, which resulted in the compromise of proprietary information. 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.”
Hackers claimed to have obtained 1.5 terabytes of data from the company.
HBO chairman and CEO Richard Plepler sent an email to HBO employees alerting them of the breach.
He wrote, “As most of you have probably heard by now, there has been a cyber incident directed at the company which has resulted in some stolen proprietary information, including some of our programming. Any intrusion of this nature is obviously disruptive, unsettling, and disturbing for all of us. I can assure you that senior leadership and our extraordinary technology team, along with outside experts, are working round the clock to protect our collective interests. The efforts across multiple departments have been nothing short of herculean.”
“It is a textbook example of quintessential HBO teamwork. The problem before us is unfortunately all too familiar in the world we now find ourselves a part of. As has been the case with any challenge we have ever faced, I have absolutely no doubt that we will navigate our way through this successfully.”
On Sunday, an anonymous email was sent to many reporters announcing the hack: “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.”
In April, a hacker penetrated Netflix to release episodes from season 5 of ‘Orange Is the New Black’ ahead of its summer return.
On the film side, Disney has been the target of a recent cyber attack with a hacker claiming to have obtained a copy of the latest ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ movie. However, Disney later claimed the hack was a hoax and the movie was never leaked online early.
The biggest Hollywood hack victim was Sony in 2014, where approximately 100 terabytes of data was uploaded online.