HBO hackers leak senior executive’s emails, demand ransom

Why it matters to you

As more Game of Thrones information leaks onto the web, future episodes of the series could be spoiled for fans. Attempting to escalate the public accessibility of HBO’s stolen data, hackers sent private email correspondence of an unnamed HBO executive to the Hollywood Reporter earlier today as well as additional files. While the Hollywood Reporter isn’t releasing the specifics of what the attached files contained, file names included identifiers such as “Confidential” and “Script GOT7.” The latter is likely a reference to a script for an upcoming Game of Thrones episode.[1]

Some of the leaked Game of Thrones materials include “marketing spreadsheets and media plans” related to promoting the new season of the popular series. Other information includes castings and script summaries, such as summaries for future episodes. It’s unclear if the hackers will attempt to leak this information to Game of Thrones fan sites or other news organizations prior to episode air dates.

The hackers have demanded a ransom[2] from HBO, but the total sum of that ransom hasn’t been disclosed by HBO or the hackers. It’s rumored[3] to be roughly £6 million, paid in Bitcoin. In addition, hackers sent a video message to HBO CEO Richard Plepler which stated “We successfully breached into your huge network. …

HBO was one of our difficult targets to deal with but we succeeded (it took about 6 months).” Also detailed within the video message, the hackers claim HBO is their seventeenth target. Detailing HBO’s response to the hack[4], a spokesperson said “HBO believed that further leaks might emerge from this cyber incident when we confirmed it last week. As we said, the forensic review is ongoing.

While it has been reported that a number of emails have been made public, the review to date has not given us a reason to believe that our e-mail system as a whole has been compromised.”

The statement continues “We continue to work around the clock with outside cybersecurity firms and law enforcement to resolve the incident.

Meanwhile, our dedicated employees continue to focus on delivering the high quality of entertainment and service for which we are known.” It’s unclear if the leak of the August 6, “The Spoils of War” Game of Thrones episode had an impact on the ratings of the popular show.

References

  1. ^ isn’t releasing (www.hollywoodreporter.com)
  2. ^ demanded a ransom (www.digitaltrends.com)
  3. ^ rumored (www.usatoday.com)
  4. ^ HBO’s response to the hack (www.digitaltrends.com)

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