Insiders tell the publication that the attack was sophisticated in nature, targeting specific content and data stored in different locations. This suggests that the attacker(s) had multiple points of entry – not a good look for HBO’s IT division.
Perhaps even more alarming is the fact that the attacker(s) made no ransom demands, calling into question the motive behind the breach (hacks of this nature typically come with monetary demands). If the attackers don’t want money, one could surmise that they’re simply out to damage HBO and seemingly increases the likelihood that stolen data will eventually be leaked online.
The HBO attacker(s) claimed to have stolen 1.5TB of data which THR says is more than seven times the amount of data taken from Sony Pictures back in 2014.
While leaking unaired episodes of hit shows like Game of Thrones is certainly an issue, the Sony hack taught us that the theft of text can be far more damaging (if you recall, Sony Pictures co-chairman Amy Pascal lost her job over the incident). For HBO’s sake, I’m sure they’re hoping that it’s mostly video that was taken.
Sources say HBO is working with the FBI as well as third-party cybersecurity firm Mandiant on the investigation, the same company that helped Sony following its hack.
Mock-up courtesy THR