An Indian entertainment giant ZEE5 faced a serious threat in June 2020, when a self-declared group of hackers 'Korean Hackers' or 'John Wick' claimed to have hacked the huge databases of ZEE5. Owned by media group Essel Group, the databases are likely to have a huge number of data of all the programs that appeared on the premium media channels. Furthermore, the hackers warned ZEE5 to sell those stolen databases in the criminal markets for a big price. The threat is causing a big risk on the media as the databases include data of more than 150 million subscribers.
Kanishk Tagade, a senior researcher at Quickcyber, revealed that the 'Korean Hackers' intimated the officials at the Essel Group about the theft and threatened them to sell the data to criminal entities soon. However, the hackers did not provide any deadline or date for doing so. In the meantime, the Essel Group has confirmed that the hackers have been successful in hacking data of more than 50 big websites. However, the officials have been optimistic about the hackers selling the data in the criminal market.
In the latest development, the companies whose data have been stolen by the Korean Hackers have responded to their threat and have agreed to their demand of about 10 Etherum or approx. $24,000 USD that they have demanded for not selling the data to the criminal market. Quite remarkably, the hackers are demanding a donation for finding out the bug for ZEE5 management that helped them do the mischief.
The threat is final and that the hackers have proved by providing the Essel Group with the screenshots that they have uploaded to a repository on Bitbucket. These screenshots the hackers are using as proof of what the Korean Hackers have gained access over the database. It includes the data that are related to entries for Dish Television. However, the entries are not clear enough to determine if it is the same that the said television channel really has.
In the opinion of the experienced ethical hackers at the Indian School of Ethical Hacking (ISOEH), such threats from the hackers are serious as they do not mind selling the stolen data to the criminals and get them abused. You may find numberless records of such thefts where the companies lost volumes of data for not paying the price. Still, ISOEH believes that such thefts can be restricted if the companies take care of their data with the help of expert ethical hackers. The company provides such services, and it has been successful to a greater extent as well.