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HBO Hack Was Seven Times Bigger Than Sony’s, FBI Now Involved

HBO Hack Game of Thrones FBI Sony
HBO

Hacking scandals are everywhere these days, and a recent HBO attack that allegedly leaked Game of Thrones scripts and several comedy episodes may be bigger than feared. Sources say the data extends to many more times what Sony suffered in 2014, and is now being investigated by the FBI.

The initial leak saw an unidentified group notifying reporters “the greatest leak of cyber space era is happening,” and encouraging people to download upcoming episodes of Ballers and Room 104, along with written pages from this coming Sunday’s Game of Thrones; perhaps ironically titled “The Spoils of War.”

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the data stolen was indeed 1.5 terabytes, as the hacker claimed, about seven times that of what Sony Pictures lost. And where HBO boss Richard Plepler initially confirmed the main theft as “proprietary information, including some of our programming,” the full leak may include “video footage, internal documents or even email correspondence.”

UPDATE: According to new word from Plepler to staff, email accounts may not have been compromised (h/t EW):

As promised, I wanted to update you on our recent cyber incident and where we currently stand. There has been and will continue to be an enormous amount of speculation in the media. It is important to understand that, as is often the case, things you read may very well not be true. Many people have expressed particular concern about our e-mail system. At this time, we do not believe that our e-mail system as a whole has been compromised, but the forensic review is ongoing. We are also in the process of engaging an outside firm to work with our employees to provide credit monitoring and we will be following up with those details. Meantime, continue to do the excellent work which defines this company across all departments and know that the appropriate teams are working round the clock to manage our way through this difficult period.

HBO is working with the FBI and cybersecurity firm Mandiant to investigate, while Kroll cybersecurity agent Erik Rasmussen speculates of the leak:

At 1.5 terabytes, it could be a whole block of TV, or worse, it could be emails, financial documents, employee or customer information. The fact that you have law enforcement and a [cybersecurity] firm involved most likely means this will be a very large incident for HBO.

As of yet, no motive has been obtained for the hack, though information was said to be specifically targeted, as opposed to the recent Orange Is the New Black theft. Further details may arrive soon, so stay tuned for the latest.

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