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FBI Is Probing Sundance Cyberattack That Forced Box Office To Close (hollywoodreporter.com) 37

Over the weekend, the Sundance Film Festival was hacked. "Sundance Film Festival has been subject to a cyberattack, causing network outages that have shut down our box office," said a spokesperson for the festival. "No further information about the attack is available at this time, but our team is working hard to get our system back up and running as soon as possible. All screenings will still take place as planned." According to The Hollywood Reporter, the FBI is now investigating the hack and is working with Sundance officials to identify the culprit. From their report: Although the festival was able to get its ticketing systems back online within an hour of the Saturday breach, multiple other denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks on Sundance's IT infrastructure followed. A DDoS attack works by flooding the bandwidth or resources of a targeted server. A Sundance Film Festival rep offers the following statement: "The FBI is reviewing the case. At this point, we do not have any reason to believe the cyberattack was targeted towards a specific film. No artist or customer information was compromised." At the time of the hack, the festival offered little in the way of explanation of what happened, but hinted that filmmakers at the annual celebration of independent cinema may have been the target. One producer of a Sundance documentary critical of the Russian government believes his film could have played a role in the attack. "There's been speculation that our film may have sparked retribution," Icarus consulting producer Doug Blush tells THR. "It does not paint a flattering picture of [president Vladimir] Putin." Icarus, which made its world premiere at the festival the day before the hack, centers on a Russian doctor who oversaw and then spoke out about Russia's widespread state-sponsored sports doping. The Bryan Fogel-helmed film, which is being pitched to distributors, has played throughout the weekend in Park City at screenings for both press-and-industry and the public. Icarus isn't the only Sundance film that could antagonize the Russian government and Putin. Evgeny Afineevsky's Cries From Syria -- one of several docs tackling the war-torn nation -- also takes a critical look at Putin and Russia's military intervention in Syria. Cries From Syria made its world premiere at Sundance on Sunday, the day after the initial box-office cyberattack.
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FBI Is Probing Sundance Cyberattack That Forced Box Office To Close

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  • So "hacker" and "hacking" have entered popular language as meaning "criminals breaking into computers", but come on, this was a DDoS, an "attack" if you wish, but not a "hack" in any sense of the term.

  • Krebs? (Score:2, Funny)

    I though Brian Krebs beat all the DDOSers with his marvelous reporting.

  • It was Robert DeNiro, I just know it. He got one of the employees from the dot-com startup he interned at to do it for him. :)

  • I don't buy it. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Jack Zombie ( 637548 ) on Monday January 23, 2017 @07:12PM (#53724623)

    We already know that the US intel community released a report where they lied about Russian hacking of the US elections.

    So, why should I believe, again without proof, that the attack was from the Russian state?

    It makes no sense. They wanted to bury the stories critical of Putin? Then they wouldn't hack Sundance; Streisand effect. But it makes sense in the continuing context of the US intel community trying to frame Russia to build the case with the public for a later war against them.

    It just screams of setup; I have no reason to have confidence in the Hollywood Reporter's claims.

    • by DRJlaw ( 946416 )

      We already know that the US intel community released a report where they lied about Russian hacking of the US elections.

      So, why should I believe, again without proof, that the attack was from the Russian state?

      For someone demanding, proof, you're quick to throw the "lied" word around without providing any.

      There was a publicly released report, and "without proof" != "included proof that I disagree with."

      Dasvidaniya, boyevik.

    • Jack, we're talking about screaming thumbsucking whiny liberals here. It is ALWAYS somebody ELSE's fault. They have forgotten how to accept responsibility for their own errors. But, that's all right. They don't know what the word "responsibility" means.

      {^_-} (But only half in jest.)

    • Was there even a single hollywood film that WASN'T framing everything russian state related as hostile by definition? So why DDoS only this film festival of little relevance? This just doesn't make sense.
  • As our new C in C has clearly stated, it's almost impossible to catch these guys if you don't catch them in the act. Besides, it's probably some four-hundred pound guy sitting on his couch somewhere anyhow, right?

    Then again, I'm sure the FBI will figure it out - probably during the final days of the 2020 presidential election.

  • ... why is it always Russia?

    Mama always liked Russia best.

  • Well, it looks a good idea to piggyback on anti-Russia hysteria to get news coverage on an obscure film that only specialists would have heard about. Well done!
  • Sounds like the wires were still warm when the FBI got there (that's a metaphor of you can't tell) . Somebody at Sundance must have friends in high places. Brian Krebs had to do his own investigation when his site was hit by Mirai. I never read about govt involvement until 2 kids in Israel were detained.
  • "One producer of a Sundance documentary critical of the Russian government believes his film could have played a role in the attack."

    Is there a contest on slashdot as to how to get the 'Russians' into a hacking story?
    • Since it's the American left that is whinging about Russia is it neocon BS? Or is it neonazi BS?
      • @wyHunter: "Since it's the American left that is whinging about Russia is it neocon BS? Or is it neonazi BS?"

        I hadn't realized the F.B.I were a front organization for the 'American left'. I was under the impression that the 'left' or liberals functioned as a device to get ageing Faux News commentators excited enough to ejaculate: liberals FAP liberals FAP FAP liberals FAP FAP FAP UUUUUGh!!
  • It could be a real DDoS attack but most likely it's a normal business day. You have to realize this: Filmfestival ticket reservation systems are always DDoS'ed by nature. 30.000 people need tickets for the current day, and the ticket is available starting at a fixed time. 10am usually. So all those 30.000 set their alarm clocks and try to login and hit reload every 2 seconds to get into the system. The java backend server behind a varnish cache is too slow to handle all those concurrent attempts, because t

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