Scam of the day – August 18, 2017 – HBO continues to be attacked by cybercriminals

Following on the heals of a hacking of HBO in which early episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm, Ballers and scripts from Game of Thrones were stolen by cybercriminals demanding ransoms be paid or they will release the stolen material, a number of HBO’s social media accounts including its Game of Thrones Twitter account were hacked and taken over by the hacking group OurMine, which has previously managed to hack other entertainment companies such as Netflix and Marvel.  This time the hackers’ actions were little more than a nuisance and the hacking was promptly remedied, however, the vulnerability of HBO was again prominently on display.

Since the major Sony data breach of 2014, the entertainment industry has been a frequent target of profit motivated hackers as well as some hackers merely seeking to publicly disrupt these companies   HBO actually does a pretty good job of cybersecurity, both in training its employees as well as requiring dual factor authentication be used by employees.  Although the investigation is ongoing, it appears that the data breach in which the episodes of its shows and scripts were stolen was linked to an email security breach.


Companies must do a better job of cybersecurity.  Complicating the problem, however, is that the entertainment industry, like the health care industry which has also shown to be extremely vulnerable to cyberattacks have numerous third party contractors with which they do business. Security vulnerabilities at these third party contractors has led, in a number of circumstances, to larger security breaches at the bigger targeted companies.

While cybersecurity can be extremely difficult to fully implement for large companies, it is not as complex for us as individuals.  Throughout my books and throughout the thousands of Scams of the day here at Scamicide we will continue to advise you on the steps to take to protect yourself from cyberattacks.

Scam of the day – May 17, 2017 – Pirates held for ransom

Although the headline may seem a little odd, what it is referring to is another data breach at a major Hollywood movie studio, in this case Disney, where the latest sequel in the successful Pirates of the Caribbean movie series has apparently been stolen through a data breach and the hacker is demanding a ransom which Disney is refusing to pay.  If the ransom is not paid, the hacker has indicated he will release the movie online in advance of the Theatrical release date of May 26th.

This latest incident comes on the heels of the hacker known as thedarkoverlord,  posting nine episodes of the popular Netflix original series, “Orange is the New Black on a publicly available file a few weeks ago as I reported to you on Scamicide at the time.  This type of extortion can only be expected to grow as hackers attack the weakest links in movie and television program development.


If the movie is posted online I strongly urge you not to download it.  In addition to the morality and ethics of not participating and encouraging this type of crime, you also run the risk of downloading various types of malware including ransomware and keystroke logging malware that can lead to your becoming a victim of identity theft if you go to these rogue websites.