HBO hacking saga continues: Company’s social media accounts hacked
HBO, the popular entertainment network, suffered a major blow on Wednesday night when a notorious a hacking group broke into the company’s Twitter and Facebook accounts.
“Hi, OurMine are here, we are just testing your security, HBO team please contact us to upgrade the security – ourmine .org -> Contact,” read a message on both social platforms. The group followed it up with posts that read, “let’s make #HBOHacked trending!”
Twitter and Facebook pages for both HBO’s company accounts as well as its programs, including Game of Thrones, Veep, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Silicon Valley, Ballers, and more were affected. In fact, the Twitter account for “Game of Thrones” was also misused. However, HBO managed to delete the offending tweets shortly after they were posted.
OurMine has a reputation for hacking high profile Twitter accounts in the last 2½ years or so, including Netflix, Sony, Marvel and Google. They’ve hacked into YouTube, as well as other celebrity accounts such as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Google CEO Sunder Pichai, former Twitter CEOs Dick Costolo and Ev Williams, to name a few. OurMine claims to hack its victims to point out their obvious security system vulnerabilities and encourage them to “upgrade” or ask it for help.
With this cybersecurity breach, it seems like woes for HBO is not likely to get over so soon…
For those unaware, first, it was the news of HBO servers being hacked by cybercriminals broke wherein 1.35TB of data was stolen that included scripts of top HBO serials including Game of Thrones (GoT) Season 7, Ballers and Room 104 TV show. If this was not enough, a few days later, the script of Game of Thrones Episode 4 “Spoils of War” was leaked, which was followed by the subsequent release of entire episode of GoT S07E04 “Spoils of War” on torrent websites. Later, the hackers went on to leak the script of Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 5 Eastwatch (GoT S07E05).
Adding further woes to their misery was HBO’s Spain streaming platforms, Nordic and Espana when they accidentally leaked the upcoming Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 6 “Death Is the Enemy” five days before its official release, which is 20th August. Although, it was later retracted from online, but not before it was copied and circulated on several file-sharing platforms.
“We have learned that the upcoming episode of ‘Game of Thrones’ was accidentally posted for a brief time on the HBO Nordic and HBO España platforms,” Tom Krogsgaard Nielsen, VP of public relations for HBO Europe, said in a statement. “This is not connected to the recent cyber-incident at HBO in the U.S.”
Further, four employees of Star India that runs entertainment and sports channels, were arrested in India on Wednesday in connection to illegally releasing of Game of Thrones Episode 4 “Spoils of War” online. Authorities say that these employees had privileged access to the GoT S07E04. However, these hackers are not linked to the hack that stole exclusive information from HBO’s servers.