Henry the Eighth I AmMany of us can be forgiven if the recent HBO hack has us recalling the Sony Pictures incident, dismissing it as nothing more than \u2018second verse, same as the first.\u2019\u00a0 The line is from Henry The Eighth I Am, a British drinking song penned over a hundred years ago. Many may remember Patrick Swayze tormenting Whoopi Goldberg with it in the 1990 hit film Ghost.Pub culture aside, the HBO hack actually has little in common with the Sony incident.\u00a0 They were different targets hit for completely different reasons, by very different hackers, and with decidedly different outcomes.\u00a0 HBO\u2019s handling of the incident might make for an interesting business school case on cybersecurity and business models (feel free to run with that).The Sony incident was the result of a nation-state hit by North Korea, angry over the release of an unflattering film about Kim Jong Un.\u00a0 On November 24, 2014, Sony employees were locked out of the computers, the company\u2019s entire network having been seized by hackers.\u00a0 To prove their validity, the Guardians Of Peace\u00a0group released embarrassing emails Sony execs had written about actress Angelina Jolie and President Barak Obama, forcing the execs to apologize.\u00a0 The hackers also posted three unreleased Sony films online.On December 16, the Guardians of Peace threatened 9\/11 style attacks on movie theaters that featured the film.\u00a0 Such a threat might have rung hollow a few years ago, but after theater attacks in Colorado and Florida, corporate owners took no chances.\u00a0 Several large theater chains cancelled plans to show the movie at all, and even the New York premiere was cancelled.\u00a0Sony capitulated the following day, announcing the film\u2019s Christmas Day release would be postponed.\u00a0 At 10:00pm Christmas Eve the movie was quietly released online through Google, Xbox Video, YouTube, and a dedicated website.\u00a0 Around three hundred indie theaters went ahead with the Christmas Day features, but the damage was done.\u00a0 Sony lost millions in revenue, faced a growing array of lawsuits, and co-chairman Amy Pascal was fired.Hackers: 1.\u00a0 Hollywood:\u00a0 0.Fast forward three yearsHackers made their way into HBO\u2019s network, capturing unreleased episodes of Game of Thrones, email communications between execs, and personal data on various actors and crew.\u00a0 They demanded HBO pay a ransom.\u00a0 HBO declined.\u00a0 The threat appears the same, and perhaps the hackers thought HBO would capitulate to avoid a Sony-style debacle.\u00a0 But appearances can be deceiving.Sony Pictures depends on retail ticket sales \u2013 HBO\u2019s business is based on a subscription model.\u00a0 HBO distributes through a cable-tv network and via online streaming through their software application HBO Now. \u00a0 Sony\u2019s fortunes rise and fall with each blockbuster hit (Skyfall) and each dud (Pixels).\u00a0HBO's revenues are nice and steady, reliable even.\u00a0So what real damage did HBO endure due to the hack?\u00a0 Very little it appears.\u00a0 Yes, some of the actors had their personal email addresses and phone numbers leaked.\u00a0 I agree, that\u2019s bad.\u00a0 But it doesn\u2019t appear there was any consumer information taken.\u00a0 Will there be lawsuits?\u00a0 Perhaps, but it doesn\u2019t seem (thus far) that HBO was in any way negligent.Bottom line:\u00a0 Posting a few TV episode scripts online isn\u2019t damaging.\u00a0 Even if the hackers post an entire episode online, would anyone really care?\u00a0 Yes, there would be spoilers - no doubt Hollywood news outlets and social media would spoil the surprise for quite a few people.\u00a0 But most, really all, would still watch just like they normally do.\u00a0That\u2019s the difference between these two business models.\u00a0 HBO\u2019s customers have already spent the money \u2013 their monthly subscription fees.\u00a0 They are going to watch the next episode of Game of Thrones.\u00a0 Or Veep.\u00a0 Or Silicon Valley.\u00a0 The availability of one or two episodes elsewhere \u00a0doesn\u2019t change the overall value of HBO\u2019s business model.The hack doesn\u2019t provide all of each show\u2019s previous seasons.\u00a0 It doesn\u2019t let customers see how this year\u2019s season will end for their favorite characters.\u00a0 Customers are going to keep their subscriptions going.\u00a0 To the best of my knowledge, not one person has cancelled their subscription due to the HBO hack.\u00a0 That\u2019s the benefit of an on-demand subscription model.Advantage: Home Box OfficeHBO allegedly offered the hackers $250K to not release anything more.\u00a0 That\u2019s a pretty easy out for both sides, and I imagine that with the FBI now involved, some of the perpetrators might well have wished they had taken it.\u00a0 Future hacker groups will have to be a bit more discriminating in their target selection.HBO is a forty year old cable channel that transformed its business model for a digital future in ways other firms can only envy. \u00a0It used to be simple to coerce a company into paying up on a ransom threat. \u00a0Now there is doubt about whether a future hacking victim will even acknowledge the hackers at all!Perhaps hackers didn\u2019t realize the subtle differences between Sony and HBO\u2019s business models.\u00a0 But every hacker group will now stop and re-evaluate if they are hitting the best possible target in the most appropriate way.\u00a0 If they can\u2019t box in a company\u2019s options, they are certainly not going to want another defiant HBO-like \u2018victim\u2019 continuing as if nothing happened at all.\u201cWinter is coming,\u201d as they say on Game of Thrones.\u00a0 But in this case, it\u2019s the hackers that have been left out in the cold.