HBO Hack: The spoilers of war

10 Aug 2017

Unless you having been hiding under a rock or binge watching the new Game of Thrones series, you will have heard about the latest ‘big’ hack currently playing out in the press. HBO, the studio behind some of the most successful shows on TV, such as Game of Thrones (GoT) has been hacked. It is has been revealed that hackers stole up to 1.5 terabytes of data from the network and are demanding a payment of $6 million to stop the release of the stolen content, having apparently already leaked what appears to be the personal data and e-mails of at least one senior HBO executive and upcoming GoT scripts.

HBO launched an investigation into the initial attack that took place on August 1 when it’s CEO and Chairman Richard Plepler confirmed the cable company’s network security had been compromised. Whatever the outcome of the investigation or court of public opinion, one takeaway from this sorry situation is how large organisations and businesses look after their valuable data and ultimately keep it safe. 

The Infosec community is rife with speculation regarding the actual mechanics of the attack, and the general consensus is that the attackers used relatively simple and traditional but more importantly persistent methods to gain unauthorised access. The question circulating amongst the cyber security experts at Telesoft is how such a large amount of data is purged from a network without anyone noticing before it is too late to stop?


The only answer we can come up with, is whoever handled their security whether that a third party provider or themselves, did not have full pervasive visibility of the network.

“Network visibility is a fundamental component to the foundation of any cyber security strategy, in our opinion, simply baselining ‘normal behaviour’ and automating an alert when something unusual happens can be the difference between detecting an attack or not. Navigating networks at rate can be challenging, which is often why sampling is used. However, sampling is not good enough and attackers will fall through the cracks. You need full visibility, un-sampled, in real-time and automation. Your cyber security monitoring can only be as good as the data it can see and it needs to see all of it!” Steve Patton, Head of Sales and Marketing, Telesoft

How the end of this unfortunate situation plays out is hard to predict, except to serve as a warning to those companies and organisations who do not take the threat of a hack seriously and continue to use poorly thought-out and implemented cyber security methodologies while simultaneously underestimating the ingenuity and persistence of cyber criminals.

Talk to Telesoft about how we can reinforce your cyber security, by giving you access to complete network visibility and intelligent security