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Hacking will forever remain a plague: The Home Box Office and Instagram hack review

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When people with sinister intentions try to gain access to information they aren’t authorized to, that’s hacking… and its becoming worrisome as the menace keeps snowballing every single day that passes by.

While there are numerous cases of hacking that have shook the world in the past (like the eBay Hack of 2014 that saw 145 million accounts breached, the LinkedIn 2016 Hack where 164 million accounts were hacked and it took LinkedIn 4 years to find out etc), new cases of hacking won’t cease to occur as long as the internet exist.

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Quite a lot of world-famous nefarious hacking and snooping activities have occurred this year but we will be taking a look at the latest victims on the receiving end of the hacking spike.

1. Home Box Office (H.B.O)

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With a 1.5 terabytes of data reportedly stolen from the company by the hacker whose identify hasn’t been unveiled, Box Office is definitely strolling down the “Revenue loss” avenue.

Home Box Office, Inc.(HBO) is an American TV company renowned for the production and broadcasting of movies, concerts, schedule information, original video content, episode guides and so on.

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In the wee period of the month of August, the company was hacked and the culprit made away with valuable data in the tune of 1.5 Terabyte. Yes, 1.5 Terabyte. This is about seven times the amount of data that was stolen from SONY when it was hacked (200 Gigabyte).

Of the data stolen, the hacker have leaked some of it to the public. The leaked data includes some episodes of the popular series, “Game of Thrones” and also episodes of the series “Baller” and “Room 104” and that will definitely not be the end of it. Upcoming leaks loom. Read on to see why.

The hacker is reportedly hiding under a disguise name “Kind Mr. Smith” and according to this report, Kind Mr. Smith is requesting for $6.5 million worth of Bitcoin. The same report states that the hackers have sold some of the data and earned half of the requested ransom already. So definitely, more leaks are imminent.

Like stealing that amount of valuable data wasn’t enough, Kind Mr. Smith also infiltrated Home Box Office email system. Although the company’s Chairman and CEO have come forward to state that it is “unlikely” that the email has been compromised. Well, that is still not all.

Indiewire reports that banking and financial details, online details, newspaper subscription, and personal health services information of a top senior executive at H.B.O was also stolen. The executive hasn’t been revealed yet but this is definitely bad for him… or her.

“It’s all about the money”

The above quote is an excerpt from the email sent to Hollywood Reporter from the hacker, Kind Mr. Smith and it reveals the motive behind the hack.

It is however not clear yet as to if Kind Mr. Smith partook directly in the hack or he his just the front man or communications person for the person/people/group who did.

2. Instagram

Just yesterday (the 30th of August), Instagram announced that it had suffered a security breached. Yet another victim.

To an extent, Instagram security breach was minimal as only the email address and phone numbers associated with an account were obtained. Passwords are safe.. but are you?

Well, you might be. Only if you are reading this and you aren’t on Instagram, or you aren’t a celebrity on Instagram or your account isn’t tagged as “high-profile”. Because according to 9to5mac, only “high-profile” users had their accounts breached.

Luckily, Instagram was quick to find out how they were hacked. Read in the company’s statement below;

“We recently discovered that one or more individuals obtained unlawful access to a number of high-profile Instagram users’ contact information – specifically email address and phone number — by exploiting a bug in an Instagram API,”

Instagram further admitted the truth in the report about emails and phone numbers of user being obtained when it warned users to be vigilant and stay sharp as to the kind of calls they pick or mail they reply.

“As always, we encourage people to be vigilant about the security of their account and exercise caution if they encounter any suspicious activity such as unrecognized incoming calls, texts and emails.”

The hackers behind the Instagram breach are however not known yet, same as the motive behind the attack on selected accounts and subsequent theft of users’ information.

Giving that hacking isn’t a new thing in the IT world and its occurrence has been since time immemorial, if asked whether a reduced level or complete removal of this menace is possible in the future, “No” will be my answer.

Hacking will forever remain a plague, and I shall therefore conclude with a quote that caught my attention in a movie I saw – can’t recall what the movie title is.

“There is always a loophole”

Therefore, as long as the above quote that no one, no system and nothing is perfect stands, and as long as man’s desire for money doesn’t dies, “hacking will forever remain a plague.”

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