Hackers post stolen HBO ‘Game of Thrones’ scripts online, demand ransom

Hackers post stolen HBO ‘Game of Thrones’ scripts online, demand ransom

August 8, 2017   03:54 pm


A hacker or hackers going by the name “Mr. Smith” dumped a trove of stolen HBO files online Monday, hinting at the extent of the network’s security breach last week.

The files include five “Game of Thrones” scripts and a month’s worth of emails from Leslie Cohen, the network’s vice president for film programming. This is the second data dump from the recent hack, according to the Associated Press.

The hackers also demanded a ransom from HBO, threatening to release more of remaining files they claim to have obtained.

The “Game of Thrones” scripts, including one for an upcoming episode, were watermarked with the words “HBO is Falling,” which is the hackers’ motto, according to Wired. Also included in the data dump were internal documents such as financial balance sheets, a report of legal claims against the network and job offer letters for several of its top executives, AP reported.

The hackers sent HBO’s chief executive Richard Plepler a dramatic video letter showing a scroll unfurling while the “Game of Thrones” score plays, Wired reported. The scroll read, in part, “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),” according to the Hollywood Reporter.

The hackers demanded “our 6 month salary in bitcoin,” which appeared to be at least $6 million, the New York Times reported.

HBO doubled-down on its claim that “the review to date has not given us a reason to believe that our e-mail system as a whole has been compromised,” in a statement to the Hollywood Reporter. But the network did say it “believed that further leaks might emerge from this cyber incident when we confirmed it last week.”

HBO publicly disclosed the hack on July 31, following a leak that included “the unauthorized release of several upcoming TV episodes from the series ‘Ballers,’ ‘Insecure’ and ‘Room 104,’ as well as a script for an upcoming episode of ‘Game of Thrones,’” The Washington Post’s Brian Fung and Craig Timberg reported.

The hackers claimed to have stolen 1.5 terabytes of data, though the first release only included about 300 megabytes, according to The Post. Monday’s data dump included 500 megabytes, Wired reported.

Source: The Washington Post

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