Last Christmas, Larson Studios, an audio post-production business based in Hollywood, fell victim to a hack by a group known as Dark Overlord, according to an exclusive interview with the company executives appearing in Variety. The studio eventually wired more than $50,000 to the hackers, who later leaked 10 unreleased episodes of popular Netflix show "Orange is the New Black" anyway.
The attack appeared to be random. FBI investigations revealed that Dark Overlord was searching the Internet for PCs running old versions of Windows to break into when it found Larson Studios.
After Dark Overlord received payment, it went after Larson's customers. The studio has spent the last six months working to repair its relationships with its customers and bolstering its cybersecurity measures.
Remember the Sony hack of 2014 that cost the company an estimated $35 million in IT repairs, not to mention damage to the company's reputation? The entertainment industry still has work to do to protect itself from hackers.
It also demonstrates that hackers aren't only interested in big companies. Sometimes by focusing on smaller players, the hackers can eventually get to the big fish. In this case, Dark Overlord used Larson Studios to eventually threaten Netflix.
The third-party ecosystem finds itself particularly vulnerable and in the Larson case running an updated version of Windows might have thwarted hackers. It's likely not that last time Hollywood will fall victim to a major cyber-attack.