What we know about the HBO hack

Good Morning Utah

On the 31st of July, HBO was a victim of a cyberattack. Cybersecurity expert Robert Jorgensen from UVU joined Good Morning Utah to talk about the attack. He says the attacker claims to have stolen about 1.5 terabytes of data, ranging from emails to scripts and episodes of popular shows, such as Game of Thrones. A lot of things have happened in the past two weeks, including some pretty interesting developments over the weekend.

The attacker involved in this has stepped up the threats about releasing the information. It has been reported that this “Mr. Smith” has requested a $6,000,00 ransom for the data. HBO has countered by offering a $250,000 “bug bounty” to get a week extension on the demands.

Robert says a bug bounty is something that is typically offered by companies to security researchers who find a flaw in their software. Usually, it involves coordinated disclosure between the researcher and company where the researcher holds off on releasing information about the security flaw until the company has a chance to fix things.
“Usually the companies have a program in place and has certain rules the researcher abides by. When I was paid a bug bounty by Facebook a few years ago, they had very strict rules about avoiding data loss and privacy breaches. Paying someone after an attack and ransom is very unusual,” shared Robert.

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