But two new stories detail just how potentially consequential the large-scale hack really could be.
Tatiana Siegel, a senior film writer at the entertainment outlet, reports that the hackers obtained “multiple points of entry” into the company’s data, which would seem to show a high level of sophistication, and have yet to release a ransom note, making the intention of the hack unclear.
The situation is serious enough that the FBI has reportedly been brought into the fold, as has a cybersecurity firm that helped with the devastating 2014 hack of the film studio Sony Pictures.
By comparison, the Sony hack looks almost quaint compared to what HBO is potentially up against. As Siegel notes, hackers may have stolen as much as 1.5 terabytes of HBO’s data, or more than seven times as much as the 200 gigabytes (or 0.2 terabytes) taken in the Sony hack, which led to the resignation of Sony Pictures co-chair Amy Pascal.
The true effects of the HBO hack remain to be seen, as the television network and authorities try to figure out what has been stolen. But it appears the hackers got more than a few unaired episodes. An HBO-hired security company has already asked Google to scrub its search engine of links to the leaks, which the company told Google included “thousands of Home Box Office (HBO) internal company documents” and “masses of copyrighted items including documents, images, videos and sound,” according to a Variety report published Wednesday.
The real question is whether hackers have obtained emails and financial data, which led to a lot of Sony’s dirty laundry getting aired out online.
AT&T also recently agreed to buy Time Warner, which owns HBO, and there’s a possibility that a hack of this size could have financial ramifications there, too.
Netflix got hacked earlier this year, leading to episodes of “Orange Is the New Black” leaking online earlier than the company would have liked. But the HBO hack, at least so far, appears to be much more sophisticated.
This story has been updated to include details provided by a Variety report.