HBO has been in the cross hairs of hackers for some time now and now have given up on negotiating with them after offering to pay $250,000 on Saturday for the 1.5TB of data that the hackers have allegedly stolen from the network servers.
The hackers revealed an email sent to them from an HBO executive stating that the $250,000 was a reward or a ‘bug bounty’ awarded to the hackers for pointing out the weakness in their system.
The hackers had initially demanded $6 million from HBO CEO Richard Plepler in Bitcoin or else have threatened to leak all the documents procured from the hack.
In addition to the script for Game of Thrones and episodes of other shows, the latest leak also contains internal documents of HBO, including emails from top executives, balance sheets, employment agreement, marketing strategy and more.
Since HBO failed to meet the hacker’s demand, according to the New York Post, they leaked episodes of ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’, ‘Ballers’ and ‘Insecure’ as well as some from the yet-to-debut shows ‘Barry’ and ‘The Deuce’.
HBO executives have now announced that they won’t be giving in to the hacker’s demands anymore and were “not going to comment every time a new piece of information is released”.
“It has been widely reported that there was a cyber incident at HBO. The hacker may continue to drop bits and pieces of stolen information in an attempt to generate media attention. That’s a game we’re not going to participate in. Obviously, no company wants their proprietary information stolen and released on the internet,” the network was quoted as saying.
This means that no matter which episodes, scripts or other stolen company information is leaked by the hackers, HBO will not entertain their demands anymore.
“Transparency with our employees, partners and the creative talent that works with us has been our focus throughout this incident and will remain our focus as we move forward. This incident has not deterred us from ensuring HBO continues to do what we do best,” HBO said.
“This episode of the HBO hack is turning out to be a ‘Game of Thorns’ for HBO. As far back as July 27, HBO got into a negotiation with the hackers, it appears. There is a possibility that HBO’s pre-emptive bug bounty programme may have yielded a better security posture for them, avoiding this situation altogether,” said Ankush Johar, Director, BugsBounty.com, in a statement.
(With inputs from IANS)
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