HBO gets $6m ransom demand to stop Game of Thrones leaks

12 August, 2017, 04:37 | Author: Becky Perry
  • A still from the show

The hackers behind HBO's data breach have allegedly leaked an email in which the channel offered them $250,000 as a "bounty payment", according to USA reports including in Variety.

The message from the HBO exec is dated July 27 and mentions a "bug bounty" program probably to appease hackers who have called themselves white hat hackers.

It also contains a plea from HBO to extend the ransom-payment deadline for one week while the transfer was being made.

According to Variety and The Hollywood Reporter, HBO termed it as "bug bounty payment", calling it part of a programme where ethical hackers were rewarded for finding technical shortcomings, and bringing them to HBO's attention.

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The sum is well short of the request made in a video letter by the hacker, who demanded roughly $7 million for not leaking the stolen content.

Reuters said it tried emailing the hackers at an address it said it obtained from HBO. The executive asked the hackers for more time in an attempt to "establish the necessary account and acquire bitcoin" due to the size of the ransom.

The first incident of the hacking came over a week ago when the fourth episode of the current series of Game of Thrones was leaked on Reddit days before its Monday broadcast. All documents that have been leaked bear a watermark with the message "HBO is Falling". HBO declined to comment to both publications, but Variety says it was able to confirm that the email was real. With hackers now leaking their communication with the network, it appears they are either trying to embarrass the company even more or are just frustrated with this delay. "We have weeks of negotiations with HBO officials, but they broke their promises and want to play with us...", they said.

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