Are you an ostrich like me and just stick your head in the sand when it comes to online security? Well, this article is a real eye opener (tho it might be TL;DR for many).
What makes it incredibly relevant is that this discussion about cyber terrorism is all about the Sony / Hollywood hack and is just scary as hell frankly.
As a blog owner who’s been hacked several times, I can tell you that cyber hacking can waste a lot of time and money in trying to prevent it. We have multiple layers of security now on planet5D servers because we’ve been hacked and it can be a pain (as well as costing me more in hosting every month).
But imagine trying to secure a movie and keep the contents secret! It must be amazingly difficult.
This really was a fascinating read and I encourage you to make the time to at least skim this one.
Have you been on a “secure” set? Tell us about it in the comments
The Hacking of Hollywood
It ’s a cold day in Munich, and Oliver Stone, Hollywood’s most notorious director, is staring down the world’s most notorious hacker, Edward Snowden — or, at least, the actor who’s portraying him, Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Stone’s here filming his controversial biopic of Snowden. The film, which will be released in spring 2016, traces the whistleblower’s rise from lowly army enlistee to the National Security Agency contractor who exposed the U.S. government’s classified surveillance program.
But Stone isn’t just concerned about capturing the saga behind Snowden’s incredible leaks. He wants to make sure that no hacker comes after his film and leaks its secrets before the movie’s release. “It’s a major concern for every filmmaker,” he tells me, during a break from shooting. And it’s one that’s even more pronounced with a movie that promises to reveal more about Snowden than the world yet knows. “If you can hack his story,” Stone says with caution, “it would be a big prize.” In a way, Stone is making a meta-movie that no one has seen before, building a firewall around a film whose subject is an icon of bad infosec.
This explains the stealthy guy with the Fu Manchu beard milling around the set. He’s Ralph Echemendia, Hollywood’s go-to digital bodyguard, a reformed hacker from the dark side who now helps filmmakers, celebrities, and moguls keep their valuable data secure. It’s a challenge that’s only compounding as Hollywood — like the rest of the world — moves more and more of its content and communications online. “The concern is a lack of control,” Echemendia tells me.
Stone says such precautions, while new, are “the wave of the future.” In the wake of the giant hack against Sony Pictures last November, now marking its one year anniversary, Hollywood is playing an increasingly wacky game of Whack-A-Mole, trying to club down one hacker only to find another one rearing its head. It’s a game coming at an increasingly costly price. Last month, court documents revealed that Sony will be coughing up as much as $8 million to settle a class action suit with employees whose personal information was compromised in the breach, and that’s likely just the tip of the iceberg. While the total potential cost of such hacks are hard to gauge, some estimate the bill could fall somewhere between $150 and $300 million based on similar incidents at other companies.
This is the big-screen version of how vulnerable it feels to live online in 2015, from Beverly Hills to Capitol Hill. Just a few weeks ago, CIA director John Brennan’s email account was hacked — with its content dumped online by Wikileaks — after he was compromised by what appears to be a high school student. And as Snowden’s most recent leak of documents on the U.S.’s clandestine drone program proves, the nation is fighting to future-proof itself before it’s too late. It’s a battle that’s leaving everyone on edge. As Stone tells me, “it’s a dicey, unknowable game.”
But this isn’t just a story about how easily Hollywood can get pwned. It’s a larger narrative laced in irony: how the movie studios created the myth of the hacker in the popular imagination, only to become victim of the real thing. Perhaps it was easier to believe the silver screen version of the threat, which often seemed to be personified by some scruffy genius in black surrounded by walls of HD monitors (see White House Down), blowing through high-end security systems like Swiss cheese. But it doesn’t take an evil genius or nation state to break through the firewall. In fact, you don’t even need to be a hacker to do it.
Read full article at Medium “The Hacking of Hollywood”
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(cover photo credit: snap from Medium)