The latest victim of that popular pastime called data breach is now HBO and the upcoming episodes of its popular series Game of Thrones are already out on the Internet ahead of its scheduled airing. The same has happened in India with episodes leaking from the broadcaster, Star India. As per a report from The Verge, the episode bore watermark and was likely a pre-censor copy. (We don’t get to see GoT in all its ‘glory’ in India. We get what is sarcastically called ‘sanskari’ version).
This is a separate breach, not part of the HBO US breach.
However, the US breach is more interesting as the hackers also managed to steal documentation apart from the TV content. As per a Variety report, the disclosure came as part of a DMCA take down notice sent to Google to force the search engine to take down links to the leaked files. The take-down notice also detailed that the hackers did away with “masses of copyrighted items including documents, images, videos and sound.”
A similar thing happened with Sony in 2016. A group of hackers rumoured to be connected with North Korea, broke into Sony servers and released data which proved to be a major embarrassment for the Japanese giant, and cost some of its bigwigs their jobs. Is something similar waiting to happen at HBO?
As per Engadget, the hackers claim to have over 1.5 terabytes data. As new reveals come forth, time will tell if this is as disastrous as Sony, or not.
Meanwhile, back in India, Aadhaar, the unique ID project, continues to draw both bouquets and brickbats. The latest furore came on Friday, after the government issued an order that the ID will be mandatory for death registration. It was later clarified that in case the deceased does not have Aadhaar, a certificate by the descendants will do.
Prior to this, the project had drawn flak after an order that made linking the ID with non-small bank accounts.
The primary concern for many is regarding the data’s safety. There have been concerns after claims about government databases accidentally becoming accessible. In addition, the ID is also used to register for cellphone services and one such company’s database did indeed suffer from a breach. But the service is also essential. In a country as vast as India, such a project, if implemented properly, is essential to curb misuse of government welfare schemes and to ensure that aid reaches to the last beneficiary.
Regarding this latest ruling, it is also pertinent to know that in many parts of the country, deaths are either not registered at all, or those still alive are shown legally dead to usurp their property. Using the Aadhaar may help curb such cases.