18 Aug 2017

HBO Data Breach: More than just Game of Thrones spoilers to worry about

This year we’ve spoken a lot about different data breach incidents such as the WannaCry cyber attack on the NHS or Petya. However, one thing that’s been in the news a lot that we haven’t touched on is the targeting of the American cable and satellite television network HBO, producers of popular television shows such as Game of Thrones, Westworld and The Sopranos.

HBO are having a torrid year when it comes to data breaches. In July, hackers leaked episodes and scripts of the eagerly anticipated new season of Game of Thrones. Indian police recently arrested four people suspected of leaking an episode of the show before it was due to air. Hackers have previously leaked data from HBO shows including Dwayne Johnson’s show Ballers and stolen episodes of the new season of Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, which isn’t due to air until October.

They’re not alone. Earlier this year, the popular streaming service Netflix suffered a similar hack when the first episodes of their popular show Orange is the New Black were stolen by hackers and released online before their official release. In that case, as with the Game of Thrones leak, the hackers held the company to ransom, threatening to release episodes prematurely online if this was not paid.

HBO reportedly offered nearly $200,000 to hackers as a reward for finding vulnerabilities within its systems and potentially lost millions of dollars of revenue due to the piracy of some of the most popular television programmes in the world.

You may wonder what this has to do with your organisation but this is another sign that, after the hacks on the NHS, Linkedin and many others, no organisation is too big to avoid cyber attacks if they are not prepared. If hackers are able to breach the data in companies the size of HBO, then there’s a real possibility that any organisation without the proper safeguards in place is going to be vulnerable.

Cyber Essentials is a government-backed, industry-supported scheme to help organisations protect themselves against common cyber attacks. Poor cyber security can damage your reputation and cost you business whereas strong cyber security can boost your reputation and win you more business at home and overseas.

How do I get Cyber Essentials?

Certification with DCI Cyber Essentials can be started today. You can download our Scheme Summary which will provide you with background about the scheme, the scope of the assessment, assurance framework and the next steps to becoming certified.

Certification to the Government’s Cyber Essentials Scheme is a mandatory requirement for organisations wishing to win business with the MOD, and can help your organisation prepare and defend itself against malicious cyber attacks.

Become Cyber Essentials certified today