HBO offers $250000 as 'bounty payment' to hackers

13 August, 2017, 09:18 | Author: Laverne Higgins
  • Game of Thrones: Hackers leak email indicating HBO has agreed to negotiate and pay $250000

The hackers claim to have 1.5 terabytes of data stolen from HBO.

Variety, citing sources "close" to HBO, said the network was merely trying to buy time to figure out its next move, and it never had an intention of paying what the email termed as a "bounty".

The message also asks the hackers to extend a ransom deadline for one week in order for the network to secure and transfer the requested bitcoin payment.

Variety has opted not to publish the name or email address of the HBO executive from which the message was sent. The anonymous hackers were known to have made a ransom demand, but details of how this was handled were not made public.

Regardless of whether HBO meant to follow through with its US$250,000 offer, the e-mail on Friday raised questions among security professionals about the importance of the data and whether HBO's reaction might encourage future attacks. "They're being extorted. If it was a bug bounty, it'd be on the up and up".

"You have the advantage of having surprised us", reads the email, which Variety said was sent by an HBO technology team member on July 27. "In the spirit of professional cooperation, we are asking you to extend your deadline for one week".

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"Hackers are not in this game for US$250,000; this probably took them a lot of time and effort", Goel said.

Earlier this week, a video circulating online authored by someone identified only as "Mr. Smith" said the hackers had videos, scripts, personnel files and other sensitive data from the breach.

HBO offered to pay $250,000 to hackers who were threatening to leak episodes of its massively popular drama Game of Thrones.

HBO has said it was working with forensic experts and law enforcement in response to the attack.

When Netflix refused to pay, the hacker posted a torrent for the episodes to The Pirate Bay.

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