HBO hackers demand multi-million ransom for Game of Thrones scripts

By : |August 9, 2017 0

HBO hackers posted a fresh cache of stolen HBO files online on Monday demanding millions of dollars in ransom from the network to prevent the release of entire television series and other sensitive proprietary files, according to the Associated Press.

In a five-minute video letter from some “Mr. Smith” to HBO chief executive Richard Plepler, the hackers told the company to pay within three days or they would put online the HBO shows and confidential corporate data they claim to have stolen.

The Monday dump apparently included draft scripts of five “Game of Thrones” episodes, including one upcoming episode, and a month’s worth of email apparently from the account of Leslie Cohen, HBO’s vice president for film programming.

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 that are not yet known to Microsoft and other software companies.

Many of the more than 50 internal documents released were labelled “confidential”, including a spreadsheet of legal claims against the TV network, job offer letters to several top executives, slides discussing future technology plans, and a list of 37,977 emails called “Richard’s Contact list.”

HBO was the latest victim of a massive data theft last month when hackers claimed to have made off with 1.5 terabytes of its data. The network acknowledged the theft of “proprietary information,” and said it’s investigating the matter working closely with police and cyber security experts. The network reiterated on Monday that it doesn’t believe that its email system as a whole has been compromised.

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