HBO Hack: Insiders Fear Leaked Emails as Probe Widens | Hollywood Reporter

HBO is taking a proactive approach. Plepler called for employees to be notified even before news of the hack broke. “It was one of the best examples of how to react to a crisis and communicate to your employees,” says Nigam. “I’ve never seen it happen this fast.” (With Sony, it took then-chairman Michael Lynton 12 days to email employees about the status, though he was in largely unchartered waters at the time.)

Source: HBO Hack: Insiders Fear Leaked Emails as Probe Widens | Hollywood Reporter

Netflix, ABC Hacker Promises More Leaks: “Hollywood Is Under Attack” | Hollywood Reporter

TheDarkOverlord hacking collective claims to have studio films: “We’re in the business of earning vast amounts of internet money.”

Source: Netflix, ABC Hacker Promises More Leaks: “Hollywood Is Under Attack” | Hollywood Reporter

“Hackers are playing reality games of the worst kind — causing real damage after making real threats,” says Hemanshu Nigam, a former federal prosecutor of online crime in Los Angeles and onetime chief security officer for News Corp. “These leaks can directly limit how many viewers will actually watch because the leak spoils the ending.”

But for those viewing pirated goods, nothing comes free. Nigam says hackers often put ransomware into leaked pirated content in an effort to attack the fan base.

“Hackers have paired up with pirates to inject anyone searching or downloading leaked content with malware of all kinds to steal info, spy on you or destroy your computer with ransomware,” says Nigam.

10 Ways Hollywood Can Thwart The Next Orange Is The New Black Cyber-Theft | Deadline

10 Ways Hollywood Can Thwart The Next ‘Orange Is The New Black’ Cyber-Theft, by Hemu Nigam, guest column

Bottom Line– Vendors are the last place the Hollywood big guns might think hackers will target, but that is exactly what makes them so much more at risk.

Source: 10 Ways Hollywood Thwart The Next Orange Is The New Black Cyber-Theft | Deadline

Besides Music, What Do Rihanna, Miley and Taylor Have in Common?

   In the world of pop culture, nothing entices the public more than celebrity gossip. Search Google Trends on any given day, and famous sports figures, reality stars, singers and actors undoubtedly top the list of the most sought-after Internet topics. Sadly, the global appeal of celebrity serves as the ideal niche for eager hackers and cyber criminals looking to uncover personal information from unsuspecting celebrity inquirers. One such emergent trend in phishing scams targets the public fascination with celebrity scandal, as fabricated videos and newsfeeds tempt Internet users to access corrupted content containing viruses and other hacker material aimed at collecting personal information.

read more on Huffington Post

What Do Miranda Kerr, Burger King, and President Obama All Have in Common?

Twitter amounts to serious business for many celebrities and large corporations. Product endorsements, promotional details and event advertising represent a growing market in both celebrity and corporate publicity machines. Like many of its recognized users, the value of Twitter’s instantaneous mass communication abilities has not been lost on Internet hackers. Twitter fan favorites, including Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, Britney Spears and Khloe Kardashian, have fallen prey to the recent trend in celebrity cyber-attacks, whereby hackers tweet fabricated content using victims’ personal profiles. Burger King became the latest victim of a Twitter attack. Hackers defaced the fast food chain’s account by making it appear as McDonald’s, and tweeting vulgar comments and false claims.

Read more on Huffington Post


Hemanshu (Hemu) Nigam is an online safety, security, and privacy expert and CEO of SSP Blue, an online security consultancy. He is also a frequent contributor to CNN, HLN, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, CBS,, and  To sign up for SSP Blue’s Weekly News & Info, please click here, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.  See also Hemu’s personal site.

The Internet Remembers, And So Must We

A new scandal surfaces almost weekly in Hollywood, and nothing receives more media attention than the release of a new celebrity sex tape.  With 42 million search results for “Kim Kardashian sex tape” appearing online, no question exists about the extent of the world’s fascination with publicized celebrity indiscretions.

The attention celebrities receive for such actions often influences other Internet users to document and broadcast their own private activities (frequently to the determinant of personal relationships, careers, educational opportunities and community standings).  A simple click to post a video or image can have permanent, far-reaching and severe implications for not only the posters but also their innocent friends, family, or acquaintances.

Read more


Hemanshu (Hemu) Nigam is an online safety, security, and privacy expert and CEO of SSP Blue, an online security consultancy. He is also a frequent contributor to CNN, HLN, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, CBS,, and  To sign up for SSP Blue’s Weekly News & Info, please click here, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.  See also Hemu’s personal site.

The Amazing Race: The Irony of Halloween

I decided to watch the most recent episode of The Amazing Race after a night of walking the neighborhood streets with my six-year-old in search of the house with the best candy.  The more I watched the show in hopes of finding an online safety, security, or privacy lesson, the more I was distracted by my son sitting on the carpet, still in full Halloween gear, sorting through his loot.  As I watched him, watched the show, and watched him again, it occurred to me the dramatic irony of Halloween.

Every day we try to teach our kids to navigate life safely, securely, conscious of how we impact others, and aware of the reputation that will precede us wherever we go.  We remind our kids not to take candy from strangers, to be truthful to who we are, to respect those around us, and to be honest about who we are.  I’ve written many articles in which I have tried to highlight what we must teach our kids about staying safe online.  We hope that our kids will understand that the Internet is like the real world – full of the good and the bad – and we hope they will live in the good, avoid the bad, and stay away from the scary.

Then comes Halloween.  We tell our kids to dress up like someone else and do it really well so no one can figure out who is behind the mask.  We then take them out into the world and ask them to ring the bell on houses filled with strangers and ask for candy.  And when they are too scared to go up to a house that is particularly scary, we tell them to suck it up and get up there, that it’s no big deal.  In fact, we feel as though we must push them forward into the scary situation that lies before them, despite what we might have learned about in articles like mine from last week.

And herein lies an opportunity to think about how similar what we do on Halloween is to what many parents will do or not do online.  It is easy to feel a sense of comfort when your child sits at home in front of a computer exploring the world.  They are at home after all.  The reality is that they are exploring the world and need all the guidance we can give them and that we provide to them daily in their offline lives…well, except on Halloween.

So next time your child goes online, ask yourself, “Are they going out trick or treating?”

The Amazing Race: Back to Basics

The last episode of The Amazing Race brought us back to life as we used to know it and how much of the world still knows it.  The contestants walked, rode elephants, took the bus, hitch-hiked, and rode in taxi cabs.  They took notes on simple notepads to remember the placement of figures on temple replicas and they asked pedestrians and office workers for directions just by stopping them on the streets.  The twins, Liz and Marie, even convinced two separate cab drivers to give them a ride for free when they ran out of money.  In essence, they hitch-hiked in Bangkok, Thailand.

All of this ‘back to basics’ reminded me of a trip I took to India, Nepal, and Bangladesh with a U.S. delegation tasked by the White House to find ways to reduce the trafficking of women and children in that region.  As an envoy for the U.S. government, we traveled in Land Rovers driven by well-trained drivers.  Each time we stopped at a police controlled traffic signal, we would see the line of traffic that appears nothing like what we see in the U.S.  Instead of a line of cars waiting for the green, we saw a line of ‘vehicles’ consisting of horse drawn carriages, air-conditioned Mercedes, ox-drawn carts, passenger buses, bicycles, and rickshaws, all waiting for the policeman to blow the whistle.

It was a stark reminder of how in America we shed the old when we adopt the new.  We do it in all sorts of ways from new cars to new iPhones.  In fact, Steve Jobs’ creative genius put this ‘out with old, in with the new’ consumer buying habit on steroids.  With every new iPhone release, lines form around Apple stores with folks willing to spend hundreds of dollars just to get the latest gadget the minute it hits the market.

And yet, for some reason this phenomenon hasn’t traversed to the other side of the world.  In many other countries, we see the adoption of the new being intertwined with the retention of the old – the old of hundreds of years ago.  Placed in this setting, our Amazing Race contestants did just fine even though they were forced into using tools of a world they no longer live in – a world full of GPS devices, Google maps, cell phones, iPads, and iPhones.  And most importantly, they did it with a sense of patience.

Is it possible that our quick to consume society is starting to replace a time of thoughtful relaxation?

The Amazing Race: The Buddy System

Last week’s episode of The Amazing Race was quite inspiring and insightful.  Couples were not only working well with each other, a few were even pairing up with other couples.  Even the now infamous fighting and bickering couple, Justin and Jennifer, showed a glimpse of a partnership.  As we watched teams that had decided to pair up with one another, it became rather clear the power of the buddy system.  They encouraged each other, they split tasks, and they moved through challenges quickly and successfully.

And as I watched the power of the buddy system in a high-adrenalin race around the world, it became acutely clear the great impact this buddy system could have on keeping our kids safer online.

Every day, we make sure our kids go places with a buddy.  Whether it’s to the mall or the playground, we insist our kids have a buddy with them at all times.  And yet, when our kids explore the globe and connect with others, we forget to bring this age-old, well proven system into the Internet world, even though the Internet is a true reflection of life as we know it – the good, the bad, and the ugly.

We should ask our kids to find a buddy that they will talk to about what they are doing online, where they are going, who they are chatting with, and most importantly, what might be upsetting or disturbing them.  It is a concept we’ve taught our kids so well, they will embrace it with little or no protest.

The buddy system is a great asset on The Amazing Race and on the amazing Internet.

The Amazing Race: Text Me So I Can Hear You

Last week’s episode of The Amazing Race was the most uncomfortable ever and strangely last night’s episode was the most comfortable ever.  Last week brother and sister couple, Justin and Jennifer, fought, shouted, yelled, screamed, bickered, and argued during the entire episode.  They even argued when they were simply waiting for a train and not in the throes of a challenge.  It got to the point that it was not only visibly disturbing for the other contestants to watch, but it was even disturbing for us as viewers to watch.  Last night’s episode was quite the opposite.  While mention was made that everyone hoped Justin and Jennifer wouldn’t be at each other’s throats, most of the episode was dedicated to cordiality between team mates and cooperation amongst teams.  All of this set in the rice fields of Indonesia and a 9th-century Buddhist temple at Borobudur.

The contrasting episodes of painful bickering and peaceful living made me wonder whether life would be better lived in a world without smartphones and the Internet – a techno-less society to slow us down and take away our need for instant gratification that usually leads to instant frustration.  Justin and Jennifer are prime examples of folks who have been pushed to extreme emotions without the comforts of what they are used to – looking up things on Google, having a GPS to take them to their next destination, and having the luxury of air conditioning wherever they are.

Is there any way all this fancy technology can help them get along or do they need to slow down and plant rice for awhile?

Every word Justin spoke, Jennifer responded to.  And, vice versa.  But if you actually listened, you would notice that they were both talking so loud they couldn’t hear each other.  They weren’t communicating at all.  They weren’t listening, responding, listening, reacting.  And here is where technology can save them.  If they could just send a text to each other, even while standing next to each other, they would be forced to process their thoughts, think of the right words to articulate them, breath while they typed them into a texting device, and wait for the reply.  This texting back and forth would allow them to actually have a conversation without speaking a word.  It is the conversation that human relationships are built upon.  A little technology can allow couples to communicate without having to live on a rice farm on the other side of the world.

So next time someone is talking so loud that you can’t hear them, send a text.