HBO hacks: There is more to this story
It's the premonition of things that will become more commonplace. In the modern age, data is the most precious commodity, something that is kept on secure servers and can be siphoned off by ghosts that are hard to track. Take the current incident, for instance. It's slowly becoming a war of nerves. Will HBO give in or will it not? Here's an overview.
This was not one guy finding a loophole
Stealing content is not a new phenomenon. However, earlier it was so less, that they were seen as isolated incidents and not meditated attacks. The ransom demand, however, showed a far more ugly side. It said, "our six-month salary in bitcoin," which means they were meticulously slogging for six months to perpetuate HBO servers. This was a well fleshed out attack.
A proper career
The hackers said they're a unit that blackmails organizations after stealing sensitive data. By doing this, they tend to make around $12m-15m a year. Therefore, HBO should pay them accordingly in bitcoins. To make sure that their demands are not being taken lightly, they've released 3.4GB of files along with the ransom video. But what if HBO doesn't give in to this ransom demand?
Why is it more than spoilers and leaked shows?
According to the hackers' claims, they have 1.5TB of data, which is a combination of corporate documents, scripts, upcoming shows, and financials. HBO is a media company. If its content gets leaked, it ends up losing billions of dollars in revenue. A leak of this size would hit their guts and the firm would take quite some time to breathe normally again.
To believe or not to believe
These hackers are coming with tall claims. They say, out of the 16 firms that they've hacked, only 3 have refused to pay them, so far. HBO is their 17th victim and they have data, which, HBO admits, is "proprietary information." But, if they are so accomplished, how did we never come across their exploits? No firm ever admits paying hackers ransom, that's why.
Looks like a promotional stunt
It appears that HBO hack was a 'here we are' vehicle for the hackers, spreading fear among other firms. If a hackers unit brings HBO to its knees, in future, just a threat from them to firms, saying "We will hack you," would make most of them pay the money. This instance may also give rise to copycats, trying to bank on their infamy.
Don't confuse them with pirates
They are not Internet messiahs, however, they would like to believe that they are. They come up with "Hi to all mankind…The greatest leak of cyber space era is happening" and "Whoever spreads well, we will have an interview with him." They are not Internet's Robinhoods. They are conniving hackers, under the garb of vigilantes, stuffing their own pockets.