Hackers invade studio computers

A report in Variety Tuesday that hackers have been able to grab studio rushes, workprints, scripts, memos and other data from the servers of several major studios has focused attention on a 21-year-old computer security expert based in London, who was a primary source of the article. The London Independent quoted James Sinclair, head of Global Network Security Services, as saying, “Give me $10,000 and I can get you any movie being made in the next 12 months.” He indicated that the film industry, as it increases its reliance on digital production, also makes itself more vulnerable to theft by clever hackers. “These [studios] all have these gaping holes,” Sinclair told the Independent. “The fact is that unless you’ve secured everything along the way … you’re going to have another Napster all over again.” In fact, he suggested, it now no longer takes sophisticated hackers to locate bootlegged films on the Internet. “It’s so easy, and getting easier all the time. You can get there in three simple steps. The problem is, you’ve just become a felon dealing in copyrighted material.”