In a fresh onslaught on HBO, hackers have leaked the script of Episode 5 of 'Game of Thrones' (GoT) Season 7 that is set to be aired on August 13 (Sunday), along with a note demanding ransom from the US-based television network. (netindia123.com)
Having initially posted around half a gigabyte of unreleased HBO shows and scripts online, the hackers have now upped their game. Not only does the latest leak include scripts for the first five episodes of the current series of Game of Thrones – the fifth of which isn’t aired until August 13 – there are also thousands of emails, financial documents and strategy guidelines. And, inevitably, there’s a ransom note. One folder appears to contain legal documents, budgets and phone numbers and email addresses of top HBO executives and actors. “In a complicate operation, we successfully penetrated into the HBO,” read a garbled statement from the hackers.
PC: Wired, UK
In a video posted online, the hackers – who claim to earn up to $15 million a year from extorting companies – demanded “our six-month salary in bitcoin”. The ultimatum? Pay up within three days or the group will upload everything it claims to have stolen. In a video detailing their demands, the hackers also claim to have sent a letter to HBO CEO Richard Plepler. As the original ransom letter isn’t dated, it isn’t clear when the three-day clock started ticking. (wired.co.uk)
Contained within the leaked data are draft scripts from five Game of Thrones episodes, and technical documents detailing HBO’s internal network and administrator passwords. The Verge reported that one document includes a list of personal phone numbers, home addresses, and email addresses for all of the season 7 Game of Thrones actors, including Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, and Emilia Clarke. A month’s worth of emails from HBO’s vice president for film programming, Leslie Cohen, is also part of the latest leak alongside a large number of confidential documents. (theverge.com)
HBO says it is reviewing what data has leaked as part of an ongoing forensic investigation. In a statement to Wired, HBO spokeperson Jeff Cusson says “the review to date has not given us a reason to believe that our email system as a whole has been compromised.” If HBO’s email systems haven’t been fully accessed then it will spare the company an embarrassing repeat of what happened to Sony Pictures. Hackers broke into Sony Pictures back in 2014, and the leaked emails did the most reputational damage to the company. (theverge.com)