The FBI has now joined the investigation of the HBO hack and is working with cybersecurity firm Mandiant to try to find the culprits.
About 1.5 terabytes of data were stolen, which is a huge amount — the entire Library of Congress is only about 10 terabytes, The Hollywood Reporter noted.
Even worse, no one is quite sure what was taken exactly, other than a “Game of Thrones” partial script and some unaired episodes of other programs.
HBO insiders are worried the hackers got access to emails, financial documents, or employees’ or customers’ personal information, THR reported. No ransom or extortion attempts have been reported so far.
The attack is being called sophisticated, with multiple entry points and targeting data in different locations, THR reported. The hack is seven times the size of the 2014 Sony hack that led to co-chair Amy Pascal stepping down.
The hack also may have implications for the pending sale of HBO parent Time Warner to AT&T, which was agreed to in October at the price of $85 billion. A previous Yahoo security breach that involved customer accounts led to a $350 million price deduction in the $4.5 billion sale of Yahoo to Verizon. This hack could potentially cost Time Warner billions if it turns out to be as bad as experts think, THR said.
One positive aspect of the situation is that HBO notified employees and the public within days of finding out about the hack, whereas others waited months or even years before reporting security breaches that could have left customers vulnerable to identity theft or other problems.
Twitter users pointed out that any computer security you think you have is fairly tenuous.
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