Hackers Demand HBO Pay Millions, Release Ransom Note


Entertainment Weekly reported on Monday that hackers stole 1.5 terabytes of data and leaked online a script or treatment for an upcoming episode of the network's popular series Game of Thrones, along with yet-to-be-broadcast episodes of the series Ballers and Room 104.

HBO, which had previously acknowledged the theft of "proprietary information", said it's continuing to investigate and is working with police and cybersecurity experts.

One week after hackers spilled multiple episodes of unreleased HBO shows and scripts online, the same group has dropped its second trove of purported internal data from the premium network.

The hackers responsible have only leaked approximately 3.4 gigabytes of the data they have stolen.

The demand, which is not dated, gives HBO a deadline of three days to make the payment in order to stem the release of the stolen documents, some of which reportedly contain personal contact information for Game of Thrones actors.

The hackers also sent a video message to HBO CEO Richard Plepler.

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The video followed a file dump which included the script to an upcoming Game Of Thrones episode and a month's worth of emails from an HBO programming executive.

HBO has provided few details about the hack.

The hackers claim it took six months to break into HBO's network, and that they spend $500,000 a year purchasing so called zero-day exploits that let them break into networks through holes not yet known to Microsoft and other software companies.

A screenshot of folders with labels like "Budgets", "Legal", and "Licensing & Retail".

They claim to have personal phone numbers and email addresses for Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, and Lena Headey, as well as more as-yet unreleased footage from the HBO series.

"Data protection is a top priority at HBO, and we take seriously our responsibility to protect the data we hold", the statement continued.