You don’t have to be a small-screen fanatic to understand how important HBO has been in developing groundbreaking entertainment over the years. HBO is right now the proud home of the hit fantasy television series, ‘Game of Thrones’. Unfortunately, that proud home seems to be under attack. Owned by Time Warner, HBO has recently been confirmed as a victim of a surprising, shocking, and damaging cyber attack. While the motives for the cyber attack are unclear, the results have been pretty damaging to see. HBO saw personal documents stolen and leaked as well as entire episodes of ‘Game of Thrones’, ‘Ballers’, ‘Barry’, and ‘Room 104’ stolen.
Hacking in the entertainment industry seems to be like such a common thing, but it really shouldn’t be. Hackers typically approach their jobs in one of two ways: for fun or for profit. With the HBO hack there has been no discussion relating to any sort of motivation. Hackers simply showed up, took what they wanted, and leaked it all to the press and to the rest of the internet. Now, as a result ‘Game of Thrones’ is facing the problem of leaked episodes in their most important season of all time.
While HBO has it bad, Netflix had it worse earlier this year when ‘Orange is the New Black’ was hacked and stolen ahead of its release. The hackers stole copies of the new season and threatened to leak them unless a ransom was paid. Netflix refused to budge, the hackers leaked the episodes, and the rest is history. HBO hasn’t been given that ultimatum. Instead, this looks like what is known as a ‘smash and grab’. HBO CEO Richard Plepler has been on nearly constant damage control, insisting that HBO’s core systems are fine and that their email is still private, safe, and secure.
Probably the biggest victim in the entertainment hacking battlefield has been Sony. In 2014 many people will remember entire inboxes from Sony’s top officials being leaked to the internet. This caused immense controversy, people were fired, and films were outright delayed or canceled. The originator of the hacks turned out to be a group called the ‘Guardians of Peace’. The ‘Guardians of Peace’ were hired by North Korea in order to retaliate against Sony for the release of the parody film, ‘The Interview’, which lambasted Kim Jong-un under the auspicious of a stoner adventure comedy. HBO’s hack looks relatively mundane by comparison.