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Copyright 2001

[ August 9th 2001 ]

A leading British computer security expert is spearheading a new initiative aimed at suffocating the growing threat motion picture studios face from hackers who penetrate their networks and steal advanced trailers, video rushes and movie scripts and distribute across the internet.

James Sinclair, President and Chief Technology officer of Global Network Security Services, has been hired by a coalition of Hollywood’s top studios - including Warner Brothers, MGM and the William Morris Agency - to penetrate the firewalls guarding against malicious attack and potential theft and design a protection strategy aimed at keeping the studios content tightly under wraps.

While mainstream media have primarily focused on the illegal production, transportation and distribution of MP3's which is estimated to cost the music industry four billion dollars per year in lost revenue, motion picture fraud is on the increase, spawning rapidly across the internet and fueled by faster cable modems and internet connections which can consume bandwidth at 300kps and above.

One such target which recently topped the most distributed motion picture currently in circulation across the internet is Paramount Pictures Lara Croft: Tomb Raider movie starring Oscar-winning actress Angelina Jolie.

During a recent interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation in London, Steven Gaydos, executive director of Variety Magazine, said "piracy will happen the moment you get your hands on a finished product - people will sit in a theatre and they'll videotape a movie off the screen." Gaydos also attributes the growing trend of motion picture piracy to insider trading, saying "most companies do not realise that 90% of the attacks performed on their systems are the result of inside jobs."

Hollywood is now waking up to the sobering thought that unless it's computer networks and reels of celluloid are not enveloped in tighter security, it stands to loose billions over the coming years.

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